THE WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED BELOW

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The final week of the Quarterfinals is upon us! After Sunday, we’ll have the FINAL FOUR!

The Scriptshadow Tournament is the only screenplay tournament in history where you, the readers, vote on who wins. We started with 500 entries. Based on logline and pitch, 40 of those were chosen by myself to compete in the tournament. Those were whittled down to 12 Quarterfinalists. Of those 12, 3 have been chosen for the Semifinals. This is the last Quarterfinal round, and therefore will reveal the final Semifinalist.

Here’s how this works. Read as much from each script as you can. Then vote in the comments section which script you think deserves to go into the Semifinals. Please explain why you voted for the script so that we know you’re a real voter and not a friend of the writer or screenplay voting bot. As always, I’ll leave it up to the writers to decide if they want to summarize their changes in the comments.

Voting closes at 10pm Pacific Time Sunday evening, when the winner will be announced.

Good luck everybody!

#1 SEED
Title: The Savage
Writer: Chris Ryan Yeazel
Genre: Historical Biography
Logline: The incredible true story of Squanto, the Patuxet Indian who was kidnapped from the Americas as a child and who then spent his life fighting impossible odds to return home, setting in motion a series of events that leads to one of the most significant events in American history.

#8 SEED
Title: Thrills, Kills and Scotch
Writer: Mayhem Jones
Genre: Drama/Psychological Thriller
Logline: A psychopathic magazine editor copes with the hiring of an old rival by killing a fashion model in a twisted revenge plot..

WILD-CARD
Title: Divide and Connor (formerly “Breaking Them Up”)
Writer: David Waddell
Genre: Comedy
Logline: Convinced that his constantly feuding parents are headed for a divorce, a 14 year old sets out to find new lovers for his mom and dad in hopes of ending their marriage.

WINNER OF QUARTERFINAL WEEK 4: Wow. Another freaking close race. And I’m not surprised. There’s been a lot of love for Chris and David’s scripts from the beginning. This is the first week that I’ve had to use a rule to decide the winner. I know one last reader voted for Divide and Connor last night. But it did come after 10pm pacific time. For that reason, the script moving onto the semifinals is… The Savage by Chris Ryan Yeazel! Congrats to Mayhem and David for making it this far. I know David, in particular, is taking this hard. Don’t sweat it, brother. You’re a really good writer. Make sure to enter the Shorts Contest! Maybe we’ll end up turning your short into a movie. Moving on, next Friday is Rogue One review and the Friday following that is Christmas. Then the Friday following THAT is New Years. So the first semifinal post will be January 6th. Seeya then!

  • Poe_Serling

    Good luck to this week’s featured writers. Let the race begin…

    • Scott Crawford

      Did you make this comment two hours ago? I’ve been refreshing all day!

      • Poe_Serling

        Yup. That’s what you get when you pay the extra $99.99 a
        month for SS premium service – instant access. ;-)

        • Scott Crawford

          Trippy. At least I get in early comment. It’s easier to find the vote tally when it’s one of the first comments.

    • Urugeth

      Thanks for the vote and the read, Poe!

  • Scott Crawford

    Quarterfinal Week 4, 9/12/16, 17:02 GMT votes so far: 1

    Divide and Connor: 0 votes (0%)

    The Savage: 1 vote (100%)

    1. Poe Serling

    Thrills, Kills and Scotch: 0 votes (0%)

    • Wijnand Krabman

      My vote: divide and connor. Liked previous title more, but hey you did the best one of this contest.

      • wad_d

        Thanks man. If I recall correctly, you’re a Verhoeven fan. Have you seen “Elle” yet? I’m debating what to see this weekend.

        • Wijnand Krabman

          Yes I did. Sorry for the english I did this quick.

          Elle by Paul Verhoeven

          This film is the French entry for the Oscars. The somewhat bizarre businesswoman Michelle is raped in her home, then she doesn’t go to the police, but decides to hunt down the offender herself. Knowing Paul, I expect a ruthless retaliation film where Michelle’s finds creative ways to take revenge on her rapist making all potential rapists who see this film to attend their vile desires for a long time. A bit the same what Jaws did to beach visitors.
          No, this is not a sad story, Michelle actually is not much bothered by what happened to her. The film hints at Michelle past with her abusive father, but we do not know to what extent she was involved in all the misery.
          Typical Verhoeven is that really everything goes differently than you would expect. Also Verhoeven is the fact that we actually have no sympathetic characters. Yes, we sympathize with Michelle because she was raped, but as the revenge is not happening and Michelle is disrupting the lives of her family and friends, sympathy is vaporing. This is the effect which is intended by Verhoeven; kicking against the conventions. The question is whether it still works? I stop caring about Michelle. It is clear that she is a somehow and weird person behaving strangely, but there are so many of those in everyday life and makes me wonder if I want to look at this? It all takes too long for a thriller, the story dies and is actually a series of provocations. Isabelle Huppert plays this role very well and so does her friend she is cheating on by doing it with her husband . At the end is a very beautiful scene at the cemetery where it will be alright between Michelle and her friend, maybe I still think that the best scene of the movie, because here all the cynicism is over and the friendship recovers. In terms of a thriller, it is also disappointing, I actually knew right away who the rapist was. The way Michelle deals with him is anything but a provocation or original, it really is a shootout in slow motion that lasts almost half an hour. OK, this film is different from others, in itself amusing but not particularly.

          • wad_d

            I was just curious if it was good or not, but I am really glad you went into so much detail. I saw this comment first thing this morning when I woke up, and when you mentioned it dealt with the ‘r’ word (I knew nothing about the plot, as I like to go in blind, George Costanza style), I decided I’d pass for now, so I just went and saw “The Edge of Seventeen”. If anyone wants to see a crappy movie with thin characters and terrible dialogue, the you should definitely not see it, because that movie is amazing. In all likelihood it’s the best comedy I’ve seen this year, and certainly one of the best movies. It’s really, really good, and has a ton of heart (but it’s not cheesy). The only downside is there was literally only one person in the theater besides me, which is a shame, because everyone should see this.

          • brenkilco

            Very curious about this. Huppert is being hyped as an Oscar dark horse. And how cool that one time wildman Verhoeven is making a comeback at the ripe old age of 78.

          • wad_d

            Granted “Black Book” was 9 years ago, but I thought that was fantastic (especially for a 69 year old!). I finished up “Le Deuxieme Souffle” this morning. It’s too long, and the almost incestuous like relationship between brother and sister was obviously weird. But it had its moments (the detective was a great antagonist), and ends nicely.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Tight race.
      Off to a good start.

    • gazrow

      Really tough week. Congrats to all three writers for bringing their A game.

      My vote: Thrills, Kills and Scotch. I love the energy in the writing and the clever dialogue.

      The Savage – Hate to say it but I’m really tired of biopics. I got into screenwriting because I wanted to use my own imagination to tell good stories. For me, biopics are simply a dramatisation of history. I don’t mind reading biographies in a book I just don’t want to see them up on the silver screen (or on The Hitlist or The Blacklist!!) Sorry.

      Divide and Connor – Like others I prefer the previous title. An audience would have no idea who Connor is until they watched the movie so the title is pretty meaningless until then. I also have a tough time getting behind the concept. My parents got divorced and I remember being devastated. The last thing I would have wanted to do would be to set out to end their marriage.

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        “My parents got divorced and I remember being devastated. The last thing I
        would have wanted to do would be to set out to end their marriage.”

        This is interesting because my never parents never divorced but I always wished they would. I guess it comes down to the individual family dynamic and parent-child relationship… I like the concept (and already voted for this script) but like almost everyone else, I prefer the previous title.
        (No vote yet)

        • gazrow

          Yeah – the writing is solid. Just the concept doesn’t work for me personally. :)

      • Mayhem Jones

        Honored! You rock, Gaz!!!!! =D

    • wad_d

      Scott, great work as always. I think you slightly mixed up Justin (who voted for me), with Cal (who voted for The Savage”)

      • Scott Crawford

        Great work, Scott… apart from all the mistakes you made!

        Seriously, this is why we make note of who voted (and why if we can) so people can correct any mistakes.

        • wad_d

          No worries. You’re doing a great job. I think you listed Justin twice for me and also, while that quote is beautiful, he’s not referring to my script with those words (the impeccable writing comment is in reference to The Savage). But overall, you’re killing it. Thanks for keeping it simple for us.

          • Scott Crawford

            I knew it was adding up correctly! OK… sorted now.

    • https://pro-labs.imdb.com/name/nm4290140/ Cal

      Hey Scott my vote was for THE SAVAGE

      • Scott Crawford

        Corrected!

    • Scott Serradell

      (I’m getting my review of “Divide and Connor” formulated and will hopefully post by tomorrow morning…) But I’m throwing my vote for THE SAVAGE. The strengths of this script are simply undeniable. I am beyond impressed (or is it envy?) with Christopher’s elegance and precision when it comes to his writing.

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      This is indeed a difficult choice as all three scripts are very well written and engaging in different ways. I hate making this kind of choice so please have some pre Xmas cookies (see below).

      DIVIDE AND CONNOR: No to the new title. I get the pun but it’s confusing. As for the rest, well, not much to add to my previous comments. I thought it was a breeze to read, that it was both funny and touching and I can definitely see this getting made. Well done and keep writing :)

      THRILLS, KILLS AND SCOTCH: Mayhem, Mayhem, Mayhem. You rock, girl ^^ Love the style, love the story, love what’s going on in your mind. THIS GETS MY VOTE.

      THE SAVAGE: Wow, the writing is amazing o.O Well done for making a biopic engaging. But it’s just not in line with my personal tastes (not because it’s a biopic but more because it doesn’t appeal to my European sensibilities, I think).

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/887659c4c398d604e8b95462767d938ab771670beb9a5ec16a7bdf7b044fe843.jpg

      • Mayhem Jones

        That’s it! I’m upgrading the Dunkin Donuts franchise I promised you weeks back to a MCDONALDS ONE!!!! $$$$$ hahahaha! Thanks Marija! =D

    • Dan J Caslaw

      Read 10-15 pages of each.

      My vote this round is for DIVIDE AND CONNOR.

      • wad_d

        Hi Dan, thanks for taking the time and your vote.

    • Eric Boyd

      I want to cast my vote to Thrills, Kills and Scotch. I said in the last round that it was my favorite script of the tournament and I still feel that way. I think this is my first vote of the second round. I’ve been checking out the scripts and reading everybody’s comments. I don’t know why I haven’t felt compelled to chime in or vote the last couple of weeks, but it has nothing to do with the quality of scripts. It’s probably equal parts tournament fatigue, busy with other shit and bitterness for not making the cut (but mad-props to Link for keeping “Boner Smasher” kind of/sort of relevant), but whatever the reason is, it doesn’t change the fact that I think TKS great and Mayhem is right there on the cusp of the Big Time. Congrats to all the writers for making it thus far.

      • Mayhem Jones

        Thanks sooooo much, Eric!! Holy crap! BTW–I hope you send BONER SMASHER for a future AOW…I was able to listen in on some of the twitch read and it was so hilarious! ALSO, I meant to tell you: I LOVED YOUR CONAN VIDEO!!! I must have watched it 3 times, at least. I even sent it to someone on the board and went: “LOOK! ERIC BOYD IS A REAL HUMAN!!” Not that I thought you were a giant, typing lizard but… it’s the internet. You never know.

      • Linkthis83

        One can never hear that they are kind of/sort of relevant enough. Almost, kind of, had a single tear moment ;)

  • wad_d

    Also, I’ll be drinking pretty heavily these next 60+ hours, but will absolutely be checking the comments. But you can also feel free to email me, should you feel so inclined.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Puns are tough. Most of them are bad. I’d reconsider. It might sound good the first time you hear but not the tenth. I thought Breaking Them Up worked as a title because it literally described your movie in three words and this would help on a one sheet.

    The new title, is it cute or cheesy? Avoid having this discussion in the first place.

    • Poe_Serling

      Hmm, I see your point.

      Even though I like the new title, it is a tad cutesy.

      Not necessarily a bad thing if it’s movie on Nick or the Disney
      channel.

      As a theatrical release, Breaking Them Up sounds like it
      might cast a wider audience net.

    • wad_d

      That’s a good point about the cuteness. But part of my thinking also is, I just want to get someone to open it up once, cause the goal for all of us of course is to get as many people as possible to open our script (and keep reading for as long as possible!). I thought people would more likely open a script called D&C instead of BTU (when also hearing my logline), but maybe I’m wrong. Your point about how BTU summed up the script succinctly makes sense. I’ll see what the consensus is, but thanks for giving me something to think about. Someone also suggested “The Love Child”, which I really liked cause of the double entendre, but that makes it sound like a serious drama, which it’s not.

  • Poe_Serling

    Yeah, I cracked it open again when Carson emailed
    it to me last nig — um, I mean when he posted it this
    morning on the site.

    ;-)

    Just based on the handful of pages that I read – not
    too many big changes.

    Perhaps there’s more as the reader gets deeper into
    the script.

  • JakeBarnes12

    If your protagonist were called Bonker you’d be on to something.

    As it is…

  • Urugeth

    This is Chris, writer of ‘The Savage’ here. I didn’t post this last time so I figured I’d use this chance to remedy that:

    Why I Should Be Picked: Back when they were all the rage and the hot spec commodity I swore I would never write a biopic. Never, ever, ever. Let alone an historical one. Talk about the kiss of death. I’m a genre guy: Horror. Sci fi. Contained Thriller. Hell, Carson once wrote an article about how to write a biopic that didn’t veer into cliche, and I thought to myself “Welp, I don’t have to worry about reading this one.”

    But from the moment I read about this story I was compelled to write the script in a way I never was before. I *HAD* to do it. It revolutionized in a lot of ways my understanding of how and why the balance of world power shifted from the Near East to Europe starting in the 16th century and dispelled so many misconceptions I held about the colonization of the New World. This is a story that changes the narrative behind one of America’s enduring founding myths, and in the center of it all is this strange, fascinating man who spent his life straddling two cultures. I was just engrossed by his arduous journey from an angry, rigid boy of war to a thoughtful, manipulative man of peace. Every year families gather together celebrate a holiday that commemorates one man’s uncanny ability to save his own ass, and I think that’s a story worth telling.

    Summary of the changes in this draft:

    – A top to bottom page one dialog rewrite. This was the number one thing mentioned by nearly every commentator in the first round (and thank you to everyone who offered constructive feedback!) and therefore it was the thing I focused on the most in this draft.

    – An overall streamlining of the scenes and story. I think I managed to trim more than three pages off the script simply by removing redundant information, on-the-nose dialog, belaboring the obvious, etc.

    – Character clarity. I wanted to make sure that all the characters’ motivations and natures really came through; that they all seemed distinct, had their own voice and pushed both Squanto’s evolution and the story forward.

    I *DIDN’T* do anything regarding the overall structure, adding/deleting scenes or shuffling the plot around. If you read this script in the first round it’s still the same story. Just a leaner, clearer (hopefully improved) version of it.

    For every one who takes the time to read all or parts of the script and offer your feedback, thank you again. I know all of us who entered this tournament want to ‘win’ (if for no other reason than the sheer validation that comes with being recognized by your peers), but the real value here has been the crowdsourced problem solving. As any of us know, we tend to grow blind to the faults in our own writing and lose a sense of perspective on our own work, and there’s only so many times you can ask a friend to read a new draft. There is nothing as valuable as clear and concise criticism from educated, story-smart readers who can hone in on what is and isn’t working. I know there has been some ugliness and craziness surrounding this whole tournament, but I can’t express my gratitude enough for the opportunity here and to those who have taken the time to help make this project better. This really is a great community at the end of the day, and y’all rock.

    • https://pro-labs.imdb.com/name/nm4290140/ Cal

      Well said, and I agree on the later^ Looking forward to the read this time round!

      • Urugeth

        Thanks again, Cal!

    • Linkthis83

      THE SAVAGE

      Mr. Yeazel, the gargantuan task you set for yourself to attempt to tell this massive story in just thirteen weeks is amazing. It’s also amazing how well you did. There is no denying that the research implemented is fantastic and the writing enjoyable. For me, the writing between the dialogue was great, but the dialogue just isn’t working for me.

      I gave this problem I was having with the dialogue a great deal of contemplation. I tried to put myself in your shoes. I decided that it wouldn’t be wise to attempt to write like NATIVE AMERICANS sound, because, well…it’s just going to come off as insulting and unintentionally racist. I then thought, “well, if this were to get picked up by a studio, then they could find a better way to approach the dialogue — if they thought it needed addressing.” But as I read further and further into the script, all the characters were speaking in a manner that hindered the read. It didn’t feel authentic. It didn’t feel effective. In the end, it rang untrue.

      I think there are too many modern phrases. I even tried to let those go, but then the relationships even sounded too modern with style of interactions and the words that are chosen are too direct, to matter of fact…not enough…subtle, dramatic intention.

      The component that ultimately led to me not choosing your script as a semifinalist — lack of storytelling. This felt like a series of scenes that were “and then this happened to Squanto, and then this happened to Squanto.” I do believe this is more a result of doing a biopic that spans so much time. That has always been my takeaways from scripts/films like this. We get so many small experiences with important moments, that it doesn’t build to a major moment, but rather, just getting to see a sped up version of the totality of them. Which, for me, typically renders them less effective. And I understand why you choose some of these moments, but they also don’t feel that interesting. Like having Manida and the other guy as part of this. I don’t feel they are utilized in the best way to help tell Squanto’s tale.

      If I look at this script as a whole, Squanto goes from being the one who wishes to fight for what he thinks he deserves, to a man who fights for what is best for everyone. The core of this is the relationships with his father. Don’t get me wrong, the intention of this script is felt throughout, but I don’t feel it’s effective. Most of the time, I feel like there is too much dialogue. Especially early in the script. I think the relationship dynamic between father and son really needs to be worked on more to be more effective. I don’t think ASKEHETEAU is as stern as he should be. These things I bring up aren’t suggestions to take what you have and push the needle farther, but rather, those subtle things that really impact and read. Their relationship even reminded me of Martin and Gabriel in THE PATRIOT.

      I had noted a couple things as I was reading that I will place here:

      p10 = “Your men took things for the tribute they had no right to take.” = I found this line confusing because he is saying it to his father. I think if he said “You allowed our men” it would make more sense. If I understand the point of this sentence.

      p20 = The exchange between Askeheteau and Manida made me laugh. This is like a mom talking to a dad about their child, after the dad has returned home from a business trip; “Wait’ll you hear what your son did.”

      p24 = I don’t buy Weymouth’s decision here. He wasn’t set up for this at all. And especially because of the way George’s reacts later, I feel that possible consequences could be hinted at. Because George’s basically blames Dermer. Again, just another example of components that are ineffective from a storytelling perspective.

      p30 = I was going to suggest that you should have Georges state that he’s going to make a proper Gentleman out of Squanto, or give Squanto an ultimatum that he chooses, just so we don’t have such a hard transition between who he was and who he becomes over this period of time.

      p30 = Is Squanto actually speaking English here? if so, you need to note that he no longer needs to be subtitled – and to make it clear to US that he can speak English now.

      –I know it might be hard to believe, but there is a lot I like about this and your writing. If I didn’t feel that way, there wouldn’t be suggestions to make. I mean, like I told you previously, after reading the opening pages of this the first weekend it appeared, I spent the rest of that weekend doing my own research on Squanto. I was that into it. Congrats and good luck to you, sir.

  • Scott Serradell

    Individual Review: THE SAVAGE

    — This is only the second time, in all the scripts I’ve read here, that I’ve reached page 20 of an amateur offering and had not a single note to offer. It is so vividly established in another time and place — in a culture completely foreign to my own — yet it unfolds effortlessly from scene to scene in a way that is compelling and dramatic. I’m personally drawn to this type of historical story: Intelligent, detailed — where there is a civility and dignity to men and their struggles (think “The Man Who Would Be King”, “Master and Commander”, “Mountains of the Moon” etc) and I feel Christopher taps into this genre quite well. From the get-go he portrays Squanto as driven to “set things right” — whether from his introduction of taking back the necklace from other tribe to, later, when he defends his assimilating into English culture. A strong thread unites his every action, and it’s done with principle and honor. In other words he is a hero in a mold we perhaps don’t see anymore (which simply makes him old-fashioned, not archaic).
    — As impressive the quality of description is throughout, I think the dialogue here is equally exceptional, precisely because Christopher does what a lot of writers cannot: He is able to pull off long scenes of characters speaking, with heavy speeches, but it is never preachy or monotonous. If fact much of it is quite engaging since it helps unearth the ideals of the characters. Early on when Squanto and Askehetean are speaking it is not simply a father admonishing his son; it is a rooted debate about the virtues of peace versus the necessity of violence. Later with John Smith’s introduction we are given a full range of his characteristics — arrogant, playful, strategic, compelling, conniving — as he challenges Squanto, who also shows another side to his personality (and it was an interesting choice to involve the Art Model in the debate. It shows a writer imagining the whole scene and not simply the action that needs be focused upon.)
    — A few things — Pg 23-25: When Squanto, Nahanda, and Manida are taken aboard the ‘Archangel’ … In reading this I pictured it in my mind’s eye and it seemed, with the amount of information in the story, it would probably be much longer on screen. Also, being such a turning point, it would have to breathe out to hit more dramatically. So — it’s up to you to decide if you, the writer, want to dictate the pace, or if you are comfortable leaving it up to a director and editor to find the appropriate rhythm. It reads fine as is — but if you want to make an emotional punch you may want to emphasize all the beats contained here.
    — Pg 27: Maybe illustrate the distance between Patuxet Bay and Plymouth Sound (you know: The Atlantic Ocean).
    — Pg. 30: A FADE TO BLACK would help separate the passage of time. Also, once we’re out of the Globe Theater, one or two establishing shots of Squanto in London would help orient us.
    — With Nahanda and Manida still at the Fort. I don’t know. Thematically the scene works but realistically I’m not so sure because this is after 9 years. Are we to believe while Squanto assimilated himself quite well into English society the others are still holed up inside a wetu, huddle together and suffering? Even if it’s true it’s not believable. And though Manida’s criticism of Squanto is accurate it feels out of place (because why is it happening now?) I realize the whole passage of time in London is brief but I almost wonder if the inclusion of the other Patuxet is even necessary (but then you run into the “Well, what happened to the others?”) One reason to cut them entirely is because their points (specifically with Squanto’s relationship to the white man) is done later (and better) when they reach the Beothuk (and the added detail of the Vikings was great!)
    — Stopped at pg. 65, at Hunt’s betrayal, but only because of time. Things were definitely getting juicy. Overall, and so far, a really amazing effort.

    • Urugeth

      Thank you, Scott, for your thorough read, your compliments and your insightful feedback. I really, really appreciate it. Great notes.

      I struggled with the Manida and Nahanda stuff. The whole reason they’re there is because 1.) That’s what happened and 2.) To illustrate the extent of Squanto’s assimilation as well as the fact that he CHOSE to do so. With the other two there he still has a connection to his past life that he has to turn his back on in a way. The way Manida and Nahanda see it, they’re not huddled in a wetu suffering. This is how they live, how they’ve always lived and how they and the Patuxet have survived for thousands of years. The reason they get sick is because of the white men and their lands, and they reject any white man solutions. And the fact Squanto has embraced this is a betrayal. If it’s just Squanto, of course he assimilates. He’d be forced too as a matter of survival. So it would make him less active. But if it’s something that takes you out of the story its something I’ll certainly dwell on and think about whether to keep or not.

      Again, thank you so much for your kind words, your time and feedback.

  • Randy Williams

    THRILLS, KILLS AND SCOTCH

    Congrats for making the # 8 seed spot in the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Read the whole thing. I don’t remember the last draft enough to recognize the rewrite changes, but it seems there’s been a paring down, a simpler introduction. Overall, I feel something made more accessible? That’s just the feeling I got.

    The writing is smart, from the description to the dialogue, I thought. The world seems authentic, surely compelling to enter and learn about. Still, I wish for a bit more focus on exterior shots, the city itself. The Museum, the park, Aidan’s apartment. Just a touch more to give an art director a hard on.

    The weakest link for me is the setting up for what comes in the third act. We get two acts of straightforward business with some clues that minds are coming unglued at the edges but not enough in my opinion to build a foundation for the ever mounting dream-like psychosis that follows, a sudden court room indictment. Not enough foundation and explanation for the diagnosis of “shared psychotic disorder”.

    I think, first of all, the voice-overs don’t work for me. If Aidan is telling the story, then I feel he survives this, Charles may have been done in. But then Charles intercedes and has his voiceover as does Emma, I believe? I yearned for one person to be relating things to me, someone whom I may later be able to point out as a clue to the reveal. I suggest telling the story with voice-over by Cecelia. Yes, she doesn’t exist, which is the point. Maybe she is the voice, we hear in the end of writing software that writers use to get out of writer’s block. Some voice that mirrors all this?

    The post-it notes, I thought could have been explained better. Is it a sign of memory lost, insecurity? Some early clues. Aidan’s explanation didn’t convince me. In some ways, I accepted them as normal for such a perfectionist.

    A wonderful combination of grasping with technology, grasping with art, and with love and lost.

    • Mayhem Jones

      Randy, you’re a gem for reading all the scripts every single week without fail and offering some kick ass notes and suggestions. CECELIA VOICE OVERS is a really neat idea (as are many of the other things you said) I can’t wait to play around with it!!

  • Garrett

    My vote is for: “DIVIDE AND CONNOR”

    While I voted for this work earlier, I have only better things to say about it in this newer draft. David has fine-tuned his story, found a way for it to sing even louder. Again, I think the best stories to vote for are the ones that leave you with an emotional response; a hard thing to do in its own right, but like finding a four leaf clover in the vast lawn of amateur reads here on the site. Good work, David!

    • wad_d

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • Scott Crawford

    So, I’ve been posting the new Hit List scripts in this online folder so that people can get them and not keep pestering me:

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BybNvm-CX6dkNWs2Y2p5TVVFeEk

    I get a lot of emails, like, “send me all the Hit List scripts,” as if I have the time to send 85 scripts by email. Anyway, ONE of these scripts (O2) has been FLAGGED and I’ve received an email telling me this script will be removed.

    Firstly, I’d like anyone who can to see if they still download O2.

    Secondly I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come, with the Black List out next week, that we’re not even allowed to look at scripts on the Hit List.

    • klmn

      I don’t see a file named O2. I assume it would be between Northeast Kingdom and Price Is Right.

      • Scott Crawford

        It’s happening. I’ve been helping people with scripts for years and NOW they’re starting to clamp down, not on the superhero movies which you might understand, but on a spec script nobody’s heard of.

        i’ll still keep helping people with their script needs but I’m not getting involved in any legal things. I’ve got a court date in January to see whether I can stay in my house. I don’t need this.

        • Jaco

          I’d stop sharing the scripts via google drive if you really want to make sure you don’t receive any heat from parties who might take umbrage at such a thing.

          • Scott Crawford

            I know. I may have to stop doing that. It’s two things:

            1. When a script is reviewed from Black List on SS.
            2. When people want me to send ALL of the Black List or Hit List or Blood List scripts.

            Maybe people are just going to have to stop asking for all scripts that ever come out, ever. Like most people, I’ve got folders full of scripts I’ve never read and probably never will.

            And if I DO post scripts, FFS grade them while you can.

            Believe me, I don’t want a lawsuit.

          • klmn

            I think PJ got in trouble when she reposted a script that was taken down. You might want to stop distributing O2 in any way to protect yourself.

          • Scott Crawford

            O2 can go… shred itself as far I’m concerned. Hopefully it won’t make the Black List.

            Yep, this annoys me so much I’m wishing bad things on a writer’s script.

    • Scott Serradell

      My O2 has been removed. And why is it now I can’t have it I suddenly want to read it?

      • Dan J Caslaw

        I’ve emailed you a copy, Scott.

  • Lucid Walk

    Why are so many movie trailers suddenly being released?

    The Mummy, Transformers, Spider-Man, Planet of the Apes, another Guardians?

    I assume it’s because it’s the holidays, and this is when they start building hype for summer movies.

    • Scott Serradell

      But also the trend of showing partial movies/extended clips: 23 min of “Rogue One” for critics for early reviews? First 40 of “Logan”? And recently a 15 min look (w/trailer) for “Alien: Covenant”? A strange strategy is being employed, me thinks…

      The “Logan” one is really interesting. A majority of the reviews say it’s a serious and bloody take on the character (a positive thing, in their minds). Funny thing is if the studio had shown the first 40 minutes of “The Wolverine” they would have said the same thing.

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        The 15-minute “preview” has been a thing for several years now :) I stopped writing movie reviews over 3 years ago (for a French website) and it was already happening back then. I never went to see any because I really don’t understand the point of watching fifteen completely random minutes of a movie that sometimes was a working print. There’s no way to say anything about such a short excerpt. And you’re spot on with the two Wolverine movies comparison.

    • Midnight Luck

      I know, some of them are like years off as well.
      Spider Man is coming in 2019, and they put out a Trailer?
      Ridiculous.

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        Re-building the fan base, maybe? Do these movies make as much money as when the trend started? I wouldn’t know as I don’t watch nor read about them but I wouldn’t be surprised if even the fans were starting to get fed up.

  • Linkthis83

    OT: THE GRATEFUL EIGHT update

    This weekend I will be eliminating three more scripts. I gotta tell you, as of right now, this is really tough. I can make cases for all of these. I should’ve asked two other SS’ers to be readers for TG8 so we could be arguing right now over who stays and who goes.

    THE GRATEFUL EIGHT

    *** THE HIGH HARD ONE ***

    *** ?????????? ***

    *** ?????????? ****

    *** ?????????? ****

    (still in the running)

    -CRATCHIT
    -THE LAST SAFE PLACE
    -THE SAVAGE
    -STACY WENTWORTH: THE LAST BONER SMASHER
    -ODYSSEUS AND HIS BOY
    -THRILLS, KILLS, AND SCOTCH

    (eliminated: BURNING BRIGADE – THE BAIT – WIDOW’S WALK – LOG – 21 DAYS IN THE AMAZON)

    • Dallas Cobb

      Holy cow…I would’ve looooooooooooved to have been one of the two other SS’ers to assist you…!

      • Linkthis83

        I will certainly remember that if in a similar situation in the future!

        • Dallas Cobb

          Oh wow…fainting backwards, now!

  • Randy Williams

    THE SAVAGE

    Congrats for making the #1 seed spot in the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    I read to page 60. I felt myself captivated in the beginning of this. The writing certainly sweeps me along in an effortless way. The dramatic presentation brings sympathy quickly to the protagonist for me. Action well done, peril, relationships, all top notch, I thought. The historical backdrop is nicely drawn and interesting.
    I felt the emotion as Squanto and his friends are kidnapped and taken overseas. I felt the burden of being there for them, the resolve of Squanto to make the best of it, the submission to defeat of his friends. The difficult decision he had to make to leave them there to return to the New World.
    All this was very good, I thought. Where it gets weaker for me and why I stopped is when Smith and Squanto have that stay with the Beothuk as The Queen Anne undergos repairs. Structure wise, in a script, at this hour mark, there should be some turn, some twist in the plot, some action taken by the protagonist that spins the story in a different direction in some way? I understand that Squanto is accused by Smith there, however not in any real menacing way of not exactly persuading the Beothuk to cooperate but rather study their ways. Squanto explains here that it is to become a leader.
    This stay with the Beothuk comes after the storm, but there wasn’t enough breathless action there to counterpoint for me, what I felt was a listless section to catch our breath. There was absolutely no tension for me at the hour mark. No real tension between Smith and Squanto that I felt, no decision that Squanto made that would really push things in another direction. Instead we’re given a anecdote about the real Pocahantas which was distracting for me. So, at that point, I stopped reading to digest my thoughts.

    • Urugeth

      Thanks for the read, Randy. I appreciate you taking the time to go through the script so thoroughly and provide insight and feedback.

      The part you mention where I lost you has always been the trickiest part for me, because its all leading up to that turn you mention. I want it to be a surprise, but telegraph it enough so that it doesn’t come out of the blue. The tension there isn’t meant to be between Smith and Squanto as much as in the simmering resentment of Hunt as he is marginalized by Squanto’s rise to his near equal. All of that comes to head literally a page after where you stopped reading. But it’s always been a gnawing issue with me, because I want that big turn to happen a few pages earlier.

      Thanks again!

  • klmn

    Not voting yet. I read all of TSK. My thoughts…

    I liked the opening in the last version better. When Aiden used Charles’s first edition Dickens to wrap a joint, it was maliciously funny. In the new version, he uses his own. He just seems like a dick. Everyone in the new version seems that way. The dialogue seems too smart, with no character to really latch onto.

    I’ll be reading Divide and Connor tomorrow, The Savage either tomorrow night or Sunday.

  • GoIrish

    TKS – read to p. 18. I opened this one without reading the logline. Through 18 pages, it really wasn’t clear to me what the plot was. There was a lot of focus on setting up Aiden, which was good, but I think we need a little more insight into what story is being told. Looking at the logline after reading, I guess I can kind of see the story is heading in that direction. It’s possible this is one of those stories you just need to go along on the ride for, but there’s the risk that some may bail early because things aren’t necessarily clear (and it’s certainly possible things could become clearer if I read a few more pages).

  • BMCHB

    Hey SS,

    Just catching up today with the last week of posts. I was away. Quiet week…

    … but what a battle this week.

    I noticed last week when I made an early vote due to travel arrangements, someone[?] said that my vote had no credibility??? Ha.

    May I assure all three in competition that, having been in competition, I’ve read all scripts at least three times. Is he bigger than me? Is she better than me? …etc.

    This is a tough one to decide so I’m going to read them once again on Saturday and then once again on Sunday and only then make my vote.

    Best of luck to all three writers. The standard is top class. Really top class.

  • Dallas Cobb

    F#%K FINALS! F#%K THIS FREEZING DECEMBER!
    ((both seem like they’re lasting forever!!))

    But thank god for Scriptshadow weekends//this tournament!

    Can’t believe that after this weekend, there’s only…what…three more rounds left of this tournament? We’ve all come so far, blows my mind…! Alright, the procrastination can only go on for so long…let’s get to it! Like I always disclaim…I would’ve read more if I had the time/wasn’t on the edge of this really, really tall pile of readings and assignments, ready to plummet to my inevitable, splattering death.

    My Vote: Thrills, Kills & Scotch

    Vote Quote: All three scripts knocked it out of the frickin’ park this week. Divide and Connor was as fun and breezy as I remember. The Savage was perhaps the most professionally written script of the bunch. But then there’s Thrills, Kills & Scotch: This is a refined draft from Mayhem, and it’s not too Mayhem-ified. I’m envious of the dialogue skill exemplified here. The revisions are profoundly better from what they were. My goal for the semi-finals is to read the entire drafts of all four scripts, and TKS was the script from this group that had me most yearning to find out how it ended.

    Title: The Savage
    Pages Read: middle of 10
    Review: The logline is a bit too long-winded; you should end it with “setting in motion one of the most significant events in American history – – The writing here is top notch; you certainly have great sentence structure skills. The details you use feel connected to your descriptions and overall script, which isn’t always found in amateur scripts. Any visual medium with subtitles personally throws me off, because I’m not too skilled at reading the subtitles and watching the actions simultaneously. The writing here reads a little too prose-y for a screenplay in my opinion, but it was divided/broken up concisely and nicely; most of the time, a good job is done of keeping one primary idea for each paragraph, making the action and details easy to follow. I thought the clay shattering on page 3 was too cliche and didn’t fit with the intense depth I felt infused in the prose. While everything was written beautifully, it didn’t feel/read like anything I hadn’t seen before in other historical biographies similar in content/subject. Does every time they talk, its a subtitle? Squanto reads like a force to be reckoned with. The dialogue here definitely feels indicative of the genre of the script. Around pages 7 and 8, there seems to be a lack of focus in the structure/sequence of events, where it seems like Squanto is just being brought to all these different places but for no reasons/motivations at all of the Pniese warriors doing it to him. None of the characters being introduced are really being distinguished from each other, which is a bit frustrating. Although this may be the most polished-written script this week, it feels the least energized/infused with passion, which is a shame because I’m sure that wasn’t the writer’s intention at all. Very impressed with the quality, but the story and execution of other screenwriting elements just didn’t completely sell, or wow, me like I was hoping they would.

    Title: Thrills, Kills, & Scotch
    Pages Read: to the top of 12
    Review: There’s some great things about this, and then some not-so-great things about this. The two main characters need to be developed more in these opening pages; their rift is understood, but their everyday ticks, behaviors, routines, and emotions don’t come through. The revised beginning feels much stronger and more connected to the script than the first draft. You removed certain elements from the first draft (the eating of thumbtacks, for example) that were a bit too disconnected or jarring, while still being able to preserve their thematic effects/purposes in this draft (with Aiden cutting himself). Make sure the specific details used have some significance other than trying to be trendy, or just specific (for example the type of whiskey — why that type of whiskey, for these characters?). The dialogue, very impressive and swift, also reads more effectively and purposefully in this draft than the last draft. If these beginning pages are any indication, a clear three-act structure is followed here; while (as mentioned above in terms of character development) the pre-existing life sequence transitions well into a very clear, and clearly troublesome, inciting incident. While you can definitely tell this is a Mayhem Jones Production especially through the dialogue, it doesn’t feel as “Mayhem-y” in the story/plot; this could be a call to develop the story more, or it could be a testament to a writer sampling a different type of style than they’re known for. While this may not be the strongest script in the competition, its certainly a thrilling (& killing) contender. Nice job, Mayhem.

    Title: Divide and Connor
    Pages Read: to the bottom of 10
    Review: There’s a lot to be proud of here, and a couple things to consider. I’m not a huge fan of this new title for a movie, but as a writing sample script, it could create some buzz (just not as much as BTU). I read your logline to a friend film buff of mine, and he was instantly hooked on your concept. Yet I was disheartened a bit to see that there weren’t many changes done to these first pages, which is fine if I hadn’t had any previous qualms. I still think the dialogue needs work (although I did love the relevant electoral college line). I think Connor has a pretty clear voice (which is great since he’s the protagonist), but I feel like everyone else around him sort of just blends together. I wish we were given more of a sense into why Connor is the way he is: what defines our protagonist here, aside from his troublesome stress from his parents’ marriage? I love Erin and Connor’s business activities, (and while I think we spend a little too much time on the Yuri operation) I’m genuinely curious how they’re going to perform these types of operations on Connor’s parents. Speaking of Connor’s parents, I really wish they weren’t reduced down to a beginning voice-over-montage-mix, because we know nothing about them, and I feel like if Connor is going to be setting up his parents up, we as the audience are going to need to be able to distinguish for ourselves whether the people Connor chooses are right for his parents or if his parents are right for each other, without us JUST being guided by the writer to those conclusions. There is so much potential here, there’s just certain elements that are making it not quite there yet/not quite as multidimensional/in-depth as it could be, to separate itself from other similar scripts. Great work here!

    • Mayhem Jones

      Thanks so much, Dallas!!! Can’t believe you took time out of your crazy college schedule for lil’ ole me ;D (Also, totally dig the adjective “mayhem-y”)

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpjCroELCew Carmelo Framboise

    I hope I will get some time on Sunday to read, note and vote on the scripts as I am at a 12 hour workshop today. There’s a party in the evening too, so I’ll be a bit hangover tomorrow. But I have to vote, it is the last quarter-final!!

    Oh, and I got a meeting with the chairwoman of the Greek Film Centre on Tuesday for my short script! Weheee, she wants to find me a producer and funding!

    The budget of the film is around 35,000 euros. That’s more than I make in 3 years.
    Shit.

    • Scott Serradell

      Good News! And Best of Luck.

  • Randy Williams

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR

    Congrats for making the Wild Card spot in the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Read the whole thing. The new title for me, seems more like a TV series title with a continuing character and a variety of episodes than a feature film with a hook. So, I’m maybe agreeing with some others that the old title is preferable or something different. I wouldn’t suggest using divorce in a title, maybe, but maybe the words “split” or, “Unmarried”? “Unhitched” .

    This was a super easy read, very fast. Never a moment I didn’t know where I was, what I was seeing. Again, like last time, felt there was more room for jokes. Didn’t LOL once except on a visual of a kid stabbing a knife through his fingers really fast. This visual had no connection to the protagonist or the theme, just a throwaway to suggest contrast. There are many straight lines that could extend to jokes, I felt. LIke when Erin advises their “client” about costs including “expenses”. What kinds of expenses would two teens incur that could be funny? Later, she places a rabbit in Connors lap, I assume as a comfort. Another set up, I thought that could lead to a funny line. There are lots of anecdotes that veer from the theme that could be replaced with funny lines. Do we have to know that Nishiti bars are imported from Tanzania? Why does the mom favor them? Is there something funny about the bars that apply to the theme? People base diving from the Empire State building is a throwaway.

    There’s been plenty of time to include Phil’s song where only a placemarker appears now. This was a distraction from an otherwise flawless read. Songwriters want their work out there, many would gladly offer you something for the exposure, even if it’s only the lyrics. There are songwriters among us. Request some help.

    What makes this script special for me is the emotional resonance achieved when Connor is sideswiped by his parent’s lack of fighting as they come home one night. As the protagonist, I am in tune with him, seeing the world through his eyes. When this happens, I felt what he felt, but at the same time, as an adult, older and wiser, I understood the dynamics here, that relationships are more complicated than what he can fathom or try to orchestrate. When you, as a viewer are ahead of your character by knowing more than they do plot wise or just being older and wiser, and you feel for them to catch up, you’ve fallen under the spell of a movie.

    This is a movie.

    • wad_d

      Hi Randy, thanks for taking the time to read and the great notes (and the vote!). One of my buddy’s is a talented musician and writes songs, and while writing the first draft I asked for his help to write a song, but than he got busy and the contest deadline was coming so then I actually I tried writing a song and studying song structure, etc. and I realized that I was a crappy songwriter. I also have admittedly pretty bad, albeit improving, taste in music (at my low point I purchased a Creed CD). I might try and give it one more shot (and in my scene description, I could write something to the effect of ‘these are temp lyrics for now’, they way Dan Fogelman I think did in “Imagine” (which became “Danny Collins”). Nishati necessarily isn’t supposed to be funny (Nishati means ‘energy’ in Swahili, or at least I think it does), but it was that the fact that Greg and Laurie both eat the same foreign energy bar, in Connor’s eyes, it’s crazy that they have these odd things in common. Like you said, the rabbit Erin brings is to comfort Connor. I just thought it could be kind of a cute, sorta odd visual, and shows how Erin is really sweet, and just wants to cheer her friend up anyway she can. But thanks a lot again for taking a look and your detailed comment. I will try to punch up the comedy in the next draft, but man, tbh, I don’t know how successful I’ll be. Being ha ha funny is hard.

  • Scott Serradell

    Individual Review: THRILLS, KILLS, AND SCOTCH

    — This is a much more disciplined version. Not that the previous draft was “weighty” but this newer one makes it feel so in comparison. But in carefully cutting some of the fat, all of the wit and intelligence that makes this enjoyable remains intact; in most instances it sharpens the image and the flow of the narrative. Some skilled editing here, Mayhem, for sure…

    — In fact, the most drastic edit I noticed improved this tremendously — and that was removing all the flashback/forwards of Charles in the hospital. This immediately brings Charles on a more level playing field with Aiden and solidifies the rivalry as your logline promised (I was going to comment that Charles still feels passive in the beginning — but if he were an Alpha Male like Aiden I think the dynamic would grow tedious very quickly). But, and maybe more importantly, by streamlining the story it makes the mysterious moments (blood there and not there, eating thumb tacks etc) seem all the more mysterious. In fact around pg. 40 I was being reminded of the work of Satoshi Kon (“Perfect Blue” specifically) in that we were following this story that is unpredictable precisely because we can’t rely on the reality of the narrator (in this case Aiden). This sort of thing makes for a damn good psychological thriller, and you are well on the way…

    — But unfortunately there are two things I think anchor your script unfavorably and that is your beginning, and your ending. I personally liked your previous beginning (though I understand if it didn’t match tonally to the rest of the story) but this new one begs all sorts of other questions, chiefly: What does seeing Samantha break up with Aiden — and then go and fuck Charles — do for the rest of the story? It provides no history (that couldn’t be summed up elsewhere) and foreshadows nothing thematically; if this is really the source of the rivalry I’d pump some steroids into it and really beef it up. There has to be something drastic/dramatic to happen so that when these two men meet 25 years later it will re-ignite in their blood.

    — As for the ending I’m still having a problem with Aiden and his refusal to comprehend that it’s 2017. It feels like an ending to a different story — because there’s simply nothing about the story that justifies or explains his condition; I’m not seeing how it relates back to either his rivalry with Charles — or the world of the fashion magazine — or the subtle investigation into the nature of photography versus the written world. Realistically it feels a bit farfetched and you should ask yourself objectively: If I were seeing this in a movie would I feel it were believable? Also: Charles’s ending too. Something about the writer (who couldn’t write) that ends up a commencement speaker that feels…off.

    — On the whole I still think you’re onto something here, and with this new structure I think it’ll materialize more effectively. Best of luck.

    • Mayhem Jones

      Ken said similar things about the PREVIOUS beginning being better so I really gotta revisit that. Excellent points and food-for-thought I had no idea about! And YES–I have to tone Aiden down despite my fondness for deplorable characters, hahaha. BTW: “narcissistic joy neutered” is a brilliant phrase!

  • klmn

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR. Not voting yet. I agree with others that Breaking Them Up is a better title.

    I read to p35, despite the fact that this really isn’t my type of material, then skipped ahead to p95 to check out the end. This has some very perceptive, witty writing – for example the movie posters on p15.

    Based on subject matter, this is probably the most likely of this week’s scripts to find a buyer. The budget would not be excessive and I could see this finding a home as a television movie.

    A good balance between action/description and dialogue.

    I still have to read The Savage before I vote.

    • wad_d

      Hey, thanks for reading so much, especially since it’s not really up your (hellfire) alley. Ok, I’ll shut up now.

  • Angie

    Stuck in moderation again.

    • Scott Crawford

      Naughty woman!

      • Angie

        LOL. Paranoia sets in fast.

    • Poe_Serling

      The moderation gremlins do keep themselves busy. They don’t seem to
      like lengthy posts or too much editing … for whatever reason.

      • Angie

        My post this week was shorter than previous posts but yes gremlins are busy.

  • Midnight Luck

    Entry and Deadlines were just released the other day for the

    PAGE SCREENPLAY CONTEST,

    And they take TV, Shorts, and other categories as well.

    And right now they have the early, cheaper cost per script of $39 until January 17, 2017.

    https://pageawards.com/the-contest/how-to-enter/

    • Paul Clarke

      Great competition. Highly recommended ;)

  • https://pro-labs.imdb.com/name/nm4290140/ Cal

    My vote this week goes to…

    THE SAVAGE

    This was a landslide win for me. It’s not only my favorite script in the competition, but it’s the one script that I feel has importance outside of just entertainment value. That said I feel this script needs to win — not to detract from the merit of the other scripts in the competition — but I feel the world would be a better place if this story was told. Again, I’m taking Chris’s word for a lot of the historical accuracy of the script, but it there’s something about it that rings true, and the fact that Squanto’s journey in this script is written as ruthlessly and unglamorously as it most likely was, is far from the picturesque, vanilla nonsense children are told in school to try and garner unconscious, institutionalized national support. Ultimately, I think people would welcome this story of Squanto and the bridging of two worlds that I’m positive is closer to the truth of how it all went down.

    Good job Chris, regardless of how you fair in the competition I think you have a real movie here. Best of luck to all the writers this week!

    • Urugeth

      Hey Cal, thanks again for the vote and the read. You’ve been a real champion for this script and your words have meant a lot as I let this puppy out into the world. I wrote this as a kind of nerdy obsessive thing that I didn’t know whether there would be any interest in or market for, and whether or not I was able to pull off a script with a wonky ass structure (due to the rising and falling changing circumstances of this character’s life) and big ideas that I’m trying to slide in there to change the narrative around this era of our history (such as the fact the Europeans were only able to get a foothold in the New World after sickness wiped out 90% of the Native population first, leaving their homes and fields open and ripe inhabiting. There’s a really good reason it took over a hundred years after Columbus’s landing to make a permanent settlement here: it’s because 60 million people had to die first before they even had a shot in hell of success). You never know if any of it works until people start reading it and give feedback.

      So yeah, much appreciated!

  • wad_d

    Hi Justin, thanks for the notes (and your vote, of course). I definitely think it could be cooler and more clever if Connor was younger and in elementary school (the kid in “Sleepless in Seattle” is really young), but I also absolutely want Connor to be sort of dealing with his own first relationship/dating issues, and I’m not too sure I want to write about elementary school kids dating and playing spin the bottle, etc. :) Thanks again for taking a look and I’ll try and keep improving it.

    • Urugeth

      Thanks for the read and the feedback, Justin! Much appreciated.

  • Scott Crawford

    Sent!

  • wad_d

    Hi Angie, thanks for reading. The family actually lives in Queens, where most of the script is set (but I feel you’re right in that it’s not entirely clear early on, so I’ll need to fix that). I lived in New York for a stretch, but there parts of Queens that are much more Long Island-y than Manhattan (although it seems like you are already well aware of this). But I will make sure to clear that up in the next draft (as well as those typos). Thanks again for reading.

  • Mayhem Jones

    Hey guys!! Sorry for the delay–I was ridiculously busy today but THRILLED to see people reading and giving suggestions on TKS! THANK YOU!!! And to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with such talented competitors is an honor! (GO Dave, currently leading!!) Gonna go through all the comments now.

    BTW, I have an OT question. I freakin’ LOVE “dialogue”–writing it, imagining it, listening to it, painting it across the page. I see it VISUALLY, as if the script is a canvas and I’m a sculpture–or even a fashion stylist tailoring a suit just right. It’s pure fun.

    MY QUESTION IS: if screenwriting doesn’t pan out for me, is there a way to just do DIALOGUE as a job? Specifically I’m thinking of doing perhaps what a “script doctor” does, minus all the PLOT/CHARACTERIZATION stuff (hehehe) just jazzing up… freshening up… absurd-ing up… work of people who grasp storytelling far better than I do… but who perhaps could use some brightening of words? KEEP IN MIND I’M NOT PERFECT AT IT!! Just like everything else, I gotta practice, practice, practice… but enough people have said stuff to me over the years that I’m trying to figure out what the hell I can do with it.

    HOWEVER, my worst fear is that the only way to get work like that is to sell a script first (to establish yourself AS SUCH). I’d love any opinions.

    • Scott Crawford

      As far as I’m aware there are only types of “script doctor” (the preferred term for “script doctoring” is “production rewrite” – because the rewrite occurs when the scenes have been LOCKED and is going into production – or “the weeklies” – because the writers who do it are paid large weekly fees in lieu of residuals).

      The first type is a successful screenwriter who ALSO does production rewrites, like Simon Kinberg, a writer who starts off selling specs and writing scripts on commission but becomes so good they get offered the weekly rate. Bear in mind, though, that not all writers hired to “doctor” a script are fixing dialogue – there’s more to a script than dialogue. They may be fixing plot points or strengthening theme – things that are not ALWAYS about dialogue.

      The second type is a writer who doesn’t often write (full) screenplays but does write gags for comedians or awards shows but is asked to “gag up” a script. Bruce Vilanche is an example as is Carrie Fisher. They’ve both written full scripts in the past.

      I can’t think of anyone who HASN”T sold a script OR written one on commission or published a book or done stand-up and is then asked to rewrite dialogue. If someone likes your script, they might pay you to rewrite someone’s script but not just the dialogue, they’d want you to do the whole thing.

      That’s all I know.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Yes, you’re absolutely right.

        For obvious reasons.

        Great movie dialogue doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it springs from characters engaged in plot.

        Without a deep understanding of and skill with the latter elements, you can’t write great dialogue.

        • Scott Crawford

          I am absolutely right! I think there are “gag writers” and Leslie Dixon, one of the big comedy writers of the 80s and 90s, I think she still get hired to gag-up scripts. But she doesn’t think it’s her best writing.

          Dorothy Parker could come up with terrific one-liners (zingers) for scripts but had no sense of dramatic structure. She worked with another writer who would say “We need a zinger here, Dorothy.” and she would come up with one.

      • gazrow

        “If someone likes your script, they might pay you to rewrite someone’s script but not just the dialogue, they’d want you to do the whole thing.”

        Have to disagree with you here, Scott. Writer’s are often brought on board to specifically punch up the dialogue of an otherwise good script. It’s usually uncredited work but the pay is good… or so I’m told! :)

        • Scott Crawford

          Maybe it wasn’t clear (I’m never wrong!), what I meant is…

          … let’s you say you’re a nobody, like me, and you have a script on the Black List or you sell a script and people like it, you MIGHT get an offer to rewrite a script that they already have, probably for a little over scale, say just over $100,000.

          It’s UNLIKELY, it’s possible but unlikely, that a baby writer as they’re called would be hired immediately to do a dialogue pass. That was saying about, well let’s say Mayhem. It’s unlikely that Mayhem would get the chance to do that uncredited work until she’d sold a bunch or scripts or been hired on a bunch of projects.

          The example I gave of Simon Kinberg is pretty good. He sold Mr. and Mrs. Smith and a script about ransoming dead bodies and based on that got writing gigs on Air Show and a time travel script about the Argonauts, and the one that got made, xXx 2. Around about that time, he did an uncredited rewrite of Fantastic Four (the 2005 one, not last year’s one which he also wrote). Since then he has been engaged as a production rewriter.

          John August’s first script doctor gig was Blue Streak (they wanted a rewrite to change it from R to PG-13) and that was several years after his first script sold and I think even after his first credits.

          That’s what I meant… you need to be hired as a storyteller or a character screenwriter or whatever before you start getting dialogue gigs UNLESS you can prove your dialogue writing somewhere else, say as a comedy writer or a stand-up comic.

          • gazrow

            No, you’re not wrong! I agree you have to be an established writer to land a gig punching up the dialogue on a script. I was simply stating that type of work exists but you must have a track record as a screenwriter to get it. :)

    • Scott Serradell

      I would be cautious about saying that dialogue is separate from plot/characterization (I mean, I get what you’re saying. But you know how some folks are around here ;)

      But if you feel like dialogue is your real strong suit, then perhaps…
      A.) Write a play (a possible backdoor to screenwriting), or
      B.) Write a script that serves your strengths (a little less “Top Gun” and maybe a bit more “In Bruges”…)

      But — if I may Mayhem — I don’t know to what level your experience and frustrations are (and I’m not asking BTW) but in my own exposure to two of your works (“Alexxxa” and “Thrill, Kill…”) I wouldn’t discount your ability to deliver some punchy descriptions as well create visual settings. Added to that there’s certainly a flavor to your prose that registers the voice of someone who can tell a story in their own particular way. So, IMO, there are some other qualities I’m recognizing here. It may honestly be a question of the genres you are tackling — and you just need a better fit into something you can devoir with the same candor, wit, and fire that is customary to any of your comments post.

      Just a humble opinion from a fan :)

    • ShiroKabocha

      Question : Do you write ? Besides screenwriting I mean. And do you publish those writings ?

      You have a distinctive voice and point of view, so if you’re not doing it already, I’d suggest submitting articles / humourous pieces / reviews to magazines and papers. Or start your own blog. Or like Scott mentioned, follow the stand-up route. Get in touch with comedians, write characters and gags for them. Then, if the right people find out your work, they might contact you. They’ll be more likely to ask you to join a team, a writers’ room on a show first, because they’ll want you to contribute your specific voice without doing the heavy lifting. You may find out that working with other writers suit you best. Or, some producers, independent or Hollywood, may want your dialogue skills specifically. But first, you still have to make a name for yourself. You’ve gotta get visibility, get published.

      Good luck :)

      • gazrow

        “some producers, independent or Hollywood, may want your dialogue skills specifically. But first, you still have to make a name for yourself. You’ve gotta get visibility, get published.”

        Couldn’t agree more.

      • ShiroKabocha

        Oh, I should add this before I hit the sack.

        Animation.

        That’s where you should go. Maybe because I’m in the midst of watching season 2 of Gravity Falls (about time), but I feel like you would be a perfect fit for animation, whether aimed at kids or adults. There’s plenty of amazing animated shows right now, from the wonderfully silly and weird to the dark, razor-sharp comedy… You’re bound to find a perfect match :)

        You should look up for those people who are currently training to work in animation, look for amateurs on the web. Very often, they’re more interested or skilled with the technical side of animation, and they might need help with story and dialogue, so that’s where you could swoop in :)

    • Levres de Sang

      Afraid I don’t have the answer to your question, but I thought I’d chime in with two things anyway: firstly, I totally agree on that seeing dialogue visually thing. The best writers paint pictures with their dialogue (just watch anything scripted by Truman Capote, Gore Vidal or Billy Wilder). Secondly, I wondered if you’d ever considered writing one of your ideas as a stage play first? You might get it produced (even if it’s just at the amateur level); and/or you could subsequently get another screenwriter to ‘adapt’ it into a screenplay. Plenty of great films started life on the stage. In fact, with reference to both of my points try and watch Suddenly, Last Summer if you haven’t already seen it… The dialogue is AMAZING!!!

      ** Hope to get to all three scripts tomorrow! :)

    • Midnight Luck

      if you get your foot in the door, and if your writing is liked, especially specifically your dialogue, then there is a chance you could pick up work as a “punch up” artist. Where your job is just that, make additions and adjustments to dialogue so it has more zing, more punch, more humor, or is just more memorable.

      I believe this is the kind of thing you are saying you would enjoy.
      The problem is, I don’t know that you can get that work, without writing a stellar script which captures someone’s attention to the point they love it and either buy it, or give you a job based on it.

      So I doubt you can skirt around the writing the script part.

      The only other way I know of is, if you work for an Ad Agency and become a Copywriter. There are many similarities between copywriting and dialogue, at least memorable dialogue.
      Maybe you could transition from Copywriter directly into becoming a dialogue punch up writer if your work is award winning and so good other agencies are out there seeking you out.
      Sadly, doubtful, but not impossible I’m sure.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Would forget about working for studios, producers for now.
      Start by offering dialogue passes for amateur scripts.
      Build a business.
      Eventually you’ll have producers coming to you.

      • Scott Crawford

        That’s a good idea! Charge a nominal amount of money, you know, x amount per page.

    • D.C. Purk

      Short answer: No, you can’t just be a “dialogue rewriter” because 5 or 6 of your friends think your dialogue is “hip” (this is not meant to be aggressive or condescending, it’s just the truth and I didn’t know how else to word it, please don’t be offended).

      Most people who polish scripts right before/during production (and generally do not receive credit) are established/produced writers who KNOW HOW TO TELL A STORY COMPLETELY AND EFFICIENTLY but may have a certain “voice” or are vetted by known directors/executives. They are usually referred to as “closers” or “production writers” and can be paid 250k to 300k per week.

      I interned for a couple of producers and gave coverage on scripts for a long time. I asked them about this. Yes, it does help to have a “voice” in your dialogue but you still have to have concept and story first. They aren’t gonna let you toy around with a thesaurus on a $100 million movie set just because you were “cute” with a couple of specs that didn’t sell. Again, this is not meant to be mean, but the truth is always the best answer.

      Now, more importantly, we have to relate this idea to you and your script. I read the first 4 or 5 pages of your script and stopped. I do applaud your effort to have voice, I really do, but your dialogue screams LOOK AT ME EVERYONE, I HAVE VOICE and therefore it comes off as clumsy and inauthentic. I can tell you are actually pausing your story to focus on a “cute” line of dialogue at every turn. It actually pulled me out of the story and I stopped reading. This happened a lot when an amateur script landed on my coverage desk. It’s very, very common for a new writer to think they’re “cute” with dialogue and can be paid for just that, but you can’t because YOU HAVE TO TELL A STORY FIRST.

      So my advice to you: forget about being a “good dialogue writer” no matter how many people on this forum think you’re great. Take your passion and ambition to have a voice and PUT IT INTO YOUR STORIES IN A USEFUL AND AUTHENTIC WAY. Having “voice” is not a career, it shows potential. Big difference.

      If you don’t believe me, the first script I ever finished was called “Storybook Reception” and it got me signed with 2 different managers. That was 6 years ago. None of it panned out because I wasn’t ready. I am JUST NOW learning how to insert my voice into good work. You need to take the time to do that.

      So please, PLEASE throw away this pipe dream of being a professional “cute dialogue writer” because it isn’t gonna happen. End of story.

      I’m sorry if my language comes off as harsh or aggressive but you need to hear it. You seem to have a drive to have a “voice” but you can’t be complacent with how “cute” you think you are. You have to be better.

      This is coming from a guy who was a “gatekeeper” for a little while. You’d be shocked at how quickly good coverage from an unpaid intern suddenly makes a producer start making phone calls. If you want to break through that gate, you need to refine your characters, give them goals, give them conflict, and pace their story. And then, ONLY THEN, can you begin to give them “cute” dialogue.

      Again, just a former gatekeeper who stopped on page 5 and trying to be as helpful as possible. Thanks. :)

      P.S. If you like to play around with language and cute quips that don’t rely on a story? You might wanna try stand up comedy or some other small, precise medium where that type of thing gets you in the door.

      • Wijnand Krabman

        lesson learned!

      • Anthony Dioniso

        Collaborate with a writer who is weak with dialog, yet strong with story.

      • klmn

        Did you read her earlier version? I think she did a better job with that one.

      • OCattorney

        So, Dane, I’m impressed with your answer. You’re “just now learning… and it didn’t pan out 6 years ago because you weren’t ready.” I need some help. I have a group. We meet on Fridays and we’re trying to decide how to win the Nicholl Fellowship, but what we’re really doing is trying to figure out how to find the right Concept for a movie like “E.T.” or “Rocky” that suddenly establishes the writer and proves they know what they’re doing. Several of our group have talent but the right Concept continues to elude them.
        After “Whiplash” was nominated, he decided to do “La La Land” … in much the same way that George Lucas decides to do “Raiders of The Lost Ark” after “Star Wars” hit big, and Steven Spielberg decided to do “1941” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” I was really shocked to read Carson give it a ‘wasn’t for me’ review.
        In this contest, trying to decide between a fact-based American history story and a boy with divorcing parents is driving me crazy.
        I started this “Win the Nicholl” group thinking we could help each other, and we’re stuck on the very first problem. Finding the right Concept. Would you say that the three scripts in this week’s competition have a good Concept? Adequate? Great? have to see it when it comes to the theaters? How about “La La Land”? When a member of my group hands me three scripts she’s written and asks, “Which one should I work on?” what do I tell her? – bill Hays

        • Malibo Jackk

          Hey Bill–
          Winning Nicholl and having a Great Concept are two different things.

          Nicholl is looking for writers. They’re looking for skills. They are less concerned about marketability. Some scripts have been favored because they’re historical, or display a foreign culture, or made the reader cry. (Given that THE SAVAGE is an attempt at historical, it may appeal to Nicholl.)
          I think it was this past year that they announced that they wanted to try something different. They were looking for scripts with powerful themes and scripts that were personal to the writer.

          Great Concepts can be subjective.
          You mention E.T., Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
          Those are all great concepts. But keep in mind that even Lucas had no idea how successful Star Wars would become.
          So what is a great concept? To studios, it’s probably something big that can be the next franchise.

          Rocky is a franchise. But it’s really just a boxing drama — elevated by characters and storytelling. Whiplash is probably something similar. A simple story with great characters and storytelling.
          (Haven’t seen the movie — Is it the Rocky of drummers?)
          And La La Land is probably taking advantage of the popularity of a trend — shows like The Voice, American Idol, and movies like Sing, and other movies involving singing.

          So what do you tell your friend who asks you which script she should
          be writing?
          Tell her to keep writing until she finds that script that she absolutely has to write.

          • wad_d

            I’d like to point out also that it’s not just dull dramas that win the Nicholl. “Joe Banks” and “United States of Fuckin’ Awesome” are both really raunchy comedies, and they both have snagged Fellowships in the last 5 years. “Short Term 12″ was a pretty edgy (definitely not safe) drama, and it also snagged one, and it went on to make an amazing movie.

          • Malibo Jackk

            That’s exactly why I said — “Some scripts have been favored….”

          • wad_d

            Sorry meant to click on comment above yours, i saw yours where it says ‘looking for writers’ (which of course implies comedies ok). It’s updating really fast now with all these comments in last 15 minutes

        • D.C. Purk

          First of all, I don’t think you should have “winning Nicholl” as a definitive goal. You probably can’t name more than 5 Nicholl winners who are major working writers in Hollywood today. Script contests are great to sort of gauge where your abilities are but I personally don’t put too much stake into them. This is just me personally. I still occasionally enter a contest, but I don’t take it too seriously. I probably have the same mentality as I would if I were to buy a lottery ticket: Sure, why not? Would be nice to win. But it’s not an actual realistic goal of mine.

          As far as the loglines go, I personally don’t find any of the loglines up there really “grab” me, but the teen finding new lovers for his parents is the one that stands out (and I remember reading the first 5 or 10 pages of the original draft and I felt the writer had potential). Keep in mind I haven’t really been following this tournament or reading many of the scripts, haven’t had time. But even though this is the only concept that kind of “stands out” I don’t feel that it’s all that compelling. However, I am not one to focus on concept all that much. I would tell someone this:

          Pick the right character first. Pick a character you know well and get excited about writing. That way, when you go into a new concept, you have this character with you. Like showing up to a party where you don’t know anyone and you’re nervous and lost, but your best friend comes with you so you’re able to navigate it and enjoy it more. I am speaking from experience, because in the years between when I was repped because of my “voice” and now I have been focusing a lot on “high concepts” and my character work has suffered and I found myself not enjoying writing anymore. If you focus too much on concept then writing feels robotic. You want it to feel fun and human, so bring a friend along with you. Bring your favorite character. It’ll make that blank page/party of strangers much easier on you.

          And if you create a really great character but your concept sucks and you give up on the story? Take the character with you. He’s your friend now. Put him into the next big concept you come up with. He’ll already be developed and you’ll feel right at home, ready to go to another scary party you know nothing about.

          So again, I’m not one to ask about concept, but that’s what I would tell her. Pick your favorite character. Form a lasting relationship. Then find them a good concept.

    • klmn

      You got a dialogue polish project? Great going.

    • Kirk Diggler

      You should seriously consider co-authoring a script with someone who’s strengths are your weaknesses and vice versa. Of course Mayhem may believe that Mayhem cannot be contained or restrained by another writer.

  • Mayhem Jones

    LOVE it, Angie. Thanks so much for taking a look! LOL about the “Briticisms”… I admit sometimes they DO pop up in my work, no idea why, though!!! (Isn’t that weird?)

  • Mayhem Jones

    Thanks for taking a look Justin! I agree I gotta pick a method of stylization and STICK WITH IT. Also I definitely plan on writing a TV pilot revolving around a person like Aiden!

  • OCattorney

    I had my “Win the Nicholl” group last night. Eight writers, three scripts apiece, a debate over which one to re-write for the fellowship judges. I remember reading this week’s scripts in earlier rounds and I wasn’t impressed with any of them. But, that could be good, since I… someone in the group brought up a Carson review from a year ago, Dec 1 2015, of “La La Land.” We were using “La La Land” as an example of what the Nicholl judges look for. Characters to care about, a romance that pulls at our emotions, a trip into a magical Story World that fascinates and makes us fall in love…. but then I read:
    Carson: I kept waiting to care about these two and it never happened. Sebastian is self-absorbed. Mia’s SO obvious with her “I only like old actresses” vibe. And it’s safe to say that if I don’t like your male lead and I don’t like your female lead, then I sure as hell don’t care if they get together or not. And since this movie is predicated on us caring about these two ….. two empty lead characters, the musical numbers are going to have to be off the charts to save this film.
    [ ] what the hell did I just read?
    [x] wasn’t for me
    [ ] worth the read
    [ ] impressive
    [ ] genius
    What I learned: The 20-something character who idolizes famous dead actors/musicians is a trope that’s been used so much in film that I’d think long and hard before including it in your own screenplay.
    What I learned 2: I don’t think this script had a single surprise (outside of Sebastian’s harsh rejection of Mia’s initial advance). Everything was too perfect, too predictable. You HAVE to surprise your reader/audience to keep them on their toes. (end)
    And “La La Land” is the current leader for “Best Picture” in the Oscar race. The songs are “off the charts” … originally cast with Emma Watson and Miles… horrible casting, but Ryan Gosling isn’t a lot better… actually, I think this movie could have been even better with the right leads, but the script was Exactly Right.
    So, after all that, who am I to give my opinion and vote for one of these fine scripts over the others? I didn’t like “Thrills, Kills” when I read it the first time, but those comments are still posted if anybody cares.
    Since I am so tired and half-blind from reviewing and debating my group’s scripts, I don’t think it would be fair for me to vote. So, OCattorney votes for NONE of them. And maybe the lessons from Carson’s review of “La La Land” will trigger a great re-write on one of them. – Bill Hays

  • Mayhem Jones

    Woohooo!!! Thanks so much for your support of TKS, kind words about the dialogue, and a vote!! =D

  • klmn

    OT.

    I still owe Carson this, and all he has to do is send me his shipping address…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5eb986f00c1d0a53005f70c3dc18a9e86a72a85d53fab900c07c11504493a992.jpg

    • Mayhem Jones

      WHAT WAS THE BET?! (Do I even want to know…)

      • klmn

        There really wasn’t a bet. He posted something to the effect that folks could make him happy by sending him one of those. I figured for the seven bucks or so it would cost, why the hell not?

        But he seems to have lost his appetite. Maybe he’s afraid I’ll doctor it up like the candy he passes out on Halloween.

    • Wes Mantooth

      Too much of a good thing.

      • Scott Crawford

        You don’t have eat the whole thing in one go; you could cut it in half or even quarters. You could SHARE it… if you really want!

  • wad_d

    Hey hey, thanks for your half vote and taking the time to read today. DW

  • wad_d

    Thanks for taking the time to read and for the vote. Also, if you really wanna give your brain a break, then rush to see “The Edge of Seventeen” if you haven’t already done so. I saw it this morning. Really funny, and really great. Thanks again.

  • Zack Snide Err

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR: Gets my vote. I really like it and I think it’s a movie. And I actually could see this being produced.
    Don’t mind the title. Like others have said it is very precious but, in my opinion, no more so than the Connor or the script itself.

    And what’s best is that the tone of the script is established really early on.

    P1 – loved the juxtaposition of Connors VO timed with his mom, Laurie, deadlifting.

    This script isn’t laugh out loud funny but it has a really pleasant lighthearted tone which works to great effect in contrast to the seedy premise. And there’s more than enough heart to keep it all together.

    A few other notes:

    P9 – When Connor is miring his teacher his friend Erin, “clocks it.” I remember wad_d said that there were more hints that Erin’s liked Connor. The above quoted might’ve been the first hint. A description of her facial expression or posture when noting Connors thirst would have made her feelings clear.

    P10 – Wow! Handsome came on way earlier in this draft than the last. I like it. Great job.

    P21-22. The blowup between the two parents did well to make Connor feel less treacherous. This might’ve been in the last draft but escaped me since I didn’t read the whole thing. Either way I think it’s important that it be established early on that Connor, however wrong his actions may be, isn’t simply imagining his parents are going to break up.

    THE SAVAGE: The story is extremely well written and very enjoyable. The script is very good but overlong (words and pages) and not very commercial. I could overlook one of those two faults but not both.

    P8 – Don’t think the meeting between Squanto’s dad and Massasoit had to be spelled out so much in the description. All that the reader needed to know was in the action between the two men, the tone, and the parameters set by the preceeding events.

    P9 – “Anger, frustration and judgement fill the faces”
    All of this could have been shown. And this wasn’t an isolated line.

    Telling not showing is an issue for me because I think when it’s done well, which is in this script, it makes for a really good read. But because most of these things are unfilmables, or unfilmables as formatted, it just feels like the writer is gaming the read.

    P10 – “Squanto flinches at the voice. Swallows.” Now that’s more like it!!

    THRILLS, KILLS, AND SCOTCH: This was my first read of this script so it was probably at a disadvantage. Oh and I didn’t read the logline either.

    I gotta say it is very interesting. I love the little pieces of detail. The world Mayhem created is very well realized and luxurious. I love the voice and energy.

    Aiden, though, didn’t register with me at all. And that’s why the script didn’t place higher. My read might be off but:

    He feels thoroughly unlike able. Then twenty five years later, having never let the past go, gets the past served to him on a silver platter in the form of a 23 year old younger version of the chick he still pines for. And he’s STILL a total douche. The girl, Emma “I keep a journal of my turmoil” Rose, I liked.

    I’m just not inclined to like him or want to root for him. The script is very well written though.

    P3 – wilthrop uses too many contractions(gotta etc.) for the period and his pedigree.

    P5 – “…skin splits oozing blood.” You made me feel it. Well done!

    P12 – The chefs retort (in Japanese) “if I’m lucky!” I chuckled.

    P18 – The Tanino crisci shoe menacing scene was awesome. Very entertaining!

    • wad_d

      Thanks for taking the time to read Zack. I am really looking forward to Justice League! Yeah, the Erin crush stuff becomes really obvious especially in the second act (there’s even a spin the bottle scene). Usually I try and focus on the main story in my first act’s (which is his parents issues, of course), and then when I get into my second act’s, I can get more in detail about relationship’s, backgrounds, etc. Thanks again for taking a look.

  • ScriptChick

    THE SAVAGE – page notes

    Pg. 9 – frustration and JUDGMENT fill the faces….
    Pg. 10 –“ Your men took things for the tribute they had no right to take.” Took things for the tribute… does he mean brought? These are Squanto’s people he’s talking about, unless he references the other tribe. Verb choice here has me a little confused.
    Pg. 15 – “But what could we offer men who build such things?” – This was a little odd for me coming from Squanto. He wasn’t keen on offering Massasoit’s people anything and for him here to even consider giving anything to these strangers? His mind has been previously that of a warrior, not a negotiator so this seemed like a big shift in thought.
    Pg. 17 – Like Squanto’s observation about men and shells.
    Pg. 18 – Wondering if it’s a bit more tension to have Hurit eat the cracker from Dermer with Squanto watching.
    Pg. 24 – “Providence smiles upon us, Dermer.” – Weymouth previously didn’t seem to think much of Squanto and his people so I feel this line’s a little off unless I know the value Weymouth sees in kidnapping. Otherwise it seems more of a burden than boon to Weymouth. (explanation comes pg. 25 but I think it needs to be sooner that that, his lines and Dermer’s immediately responding to the capture (vs. the scene of the Indians reacting in between).
    Pg. 25 – …as the CANNONS hit their mark.
    Pg. 25 – faint sun rays of shine through (words jumbled in sentence)
    Pg. 28 – “They are savages (comma) sire.”
    Pg. 29 – Not sure if we’ll ever see Dermer again, but I think he should have something to say about Squanto to Georges. To show that in this new world, Squanto is unique/one to pay special attention to? Any sympathy from Dermer since Squanto is so young?
    Pg.30 – Transition feels rushed (especially to end on Georges rather than Squanto). I think you need a title card to establish we’re in England, making it super clear to the audience. (previously I was thinking Squanto had been taken to Plymouth Rock/colony in America.
    If this script is all of Squanto’s life it’s a lot of ground to cover, but this was a crucial transition that I feel glazed over some of the most important struggles for Squanto before he assimilated. Also, this is a boy who was shown as very independent and full of machismo, even up to his capture. To glaze over this resilience also seems to cheapen the strength you’ve given him.
    Like that established Squanto wears the belt/still has it.
    Pg. 30 – Establish Squanto is speaking English here (if he is). Him speaking English shows how much he’s changed.
    Pg. 31 – Squanto dismounts twice.
    Pg. 32 – Manida’s argument with Squanto was a little too long and on the nose for me.
    Pg. 35 – The scenes are a little repetitive – Squanto performs, talk with Georges. Besides Nahanda scene, then we get the same — Squanto performs, talk with Georges. I think you can condense here.
    Pg. 35 – At the sight of Squanto (comma) Georges…
    Pg. 43 – “Look around (comma) Manida.”
    Pg. 43 – Squanto’s bit to Manida – I like Squanto saying how he did all these things to become valuable but it was never clear to me that it was his choice. Sure I guess we sort of see in how Manida doesn’t speak the language, but for a lot of it, it is Georges pulling the strings so with such a big time jump, I assume lots of it had to do with Georges’ plans and less with Squanto’s, but since Squanto is claiming that here, then I really wish I would have seen it, knowing Squanto had a hand in his own fate. Would definitely make him more active.
    Pg. 47 – John launches into a long dialogue about the great opportunities and a low status man finding power and wealth in the New World – that’s all good, but I wish the end of this scene focused more on Squanto, the main protagonist.
    Pg. 47 – Smith grips the SHIP’S wheel…
    Pg. 55 – John Smith again ends the scene here and I wish I had more from Squanto – what does he think about John Smith’s cockiness and plan to use violence if necessary? I think there could be more conflict here and well as Squanto’s thought process. As is, it’s a very fast solution to what could have been a really big problem. And they just have bits of steel bits and bobs laying around? Also might want to set this up more.
    Pg. 56 – Captain Smith, once again looking hale (?) and groomed – had to look this word up. Dunno if a gate keeper would do the same.
    Pg. 59 – “I wish to become a leader, like my father before me.” – I did not really understand this was what Squanto was hoping for until now.
    Pg. 62 – Jamestown is mentioned a lot and at times John Smith is either a failure or savior of it. Just wondering which it really is, since we haven’t seen Jamestown at this point and haven’t gotten too much of John Smith’s POV (like Quint in Jaws) about what really happened and how the event should be perceived.
    Pg. 64- While Hunt has made (I think pretend) amends with Squanto, I don’t think he would say “Point the way” – Hunt is still the Captain.
    Pg. 65/66 – How did Hunt capture all these Indians? They were on the shore? Unless someone led them to their camp but we didn’t see that. I think there’s a step missing here, one filled with lots of good action and establishes Hunt as cunning and ruthless. Right now he came across as a little over the top villainy and I’m not so sure of his plan – going all the way back to England with from what I could gather minimal supplies?
    Pg. 68 – “If I only knew.” – think there’s a better response than this and one that would show more of Squanto’s smart/mature character.
    Pg. 69 – WOMENS’ bodies
    Pg. 69 – “There you are (comma) you savage bastard!”
    Pg. 70 – Minor thing, but didn’t like seeing in description Robotically given the time period.
    Pg. 69/70 – Girl on lap then later says teen girl. Lead with that so not reimagining her in my head.
    Pg. 71 – driven like chattel  cattle?
    Pg. 71 – Ahanu’s month old blood – kind of an unfilmmable. If time has passed, it really could be anyone’s blood.
    Pg. 72 – “Now that I know how much your kind brings in I rather regret killing your friend.” – Ouch.
    Pg. 72 – Vasquez is close enough to watch/stop Hunt but not to hear Squanto speaking English?
    Pg. 73 – I thought natural gas was odorless?
    Pg. 75 – Sir Diego, this man’s injuries are beyond my injuries (wrong word?) to heal.
    Pg. 75 – Might be more opportunity for more conflict here. We’ve just seen what happens to slaves injured beyond repair. Vasquez is motivated by money and efficiency. Would he consider if the Friar had a price/Squanto worth saving?
    Pg. 77 – Like hiding the key in the bandage – but I am a little bummed that for so much of the story, Squanto is reactive/passive. Stuff is done to him or opportunities presented to him. So much of this might be in history, but I really miss the spirit Squanto had in the beginning. He wanted something and he went out to get it.
    Pg. 80 – “Rouse / awake – using both is redundant.
    Pg. 82 – “…Vasquez at our door…” – another moment of conflict and action that was missed.
    Pg. 84 – I think it should be addressed whether or not Squanto wants to go back to America at this point. Lacking stakes because Squanto seems so comfortable with this new life.
    Pg. 86 – It just struck me that Squanto would have lost his necklace when he was up for auction. Think the necklace should be touched upon, especially because the relationship was given screentime in the beginning.
    When Squanto wants to go home, thought America, but he means England – need to specify?
    Pg. 89/90/91 – This is a lot of exposition concerning characters other than Squanto (although I liked the detail surrounding Hunt’s end).
    Pg. 93 – More exposition.
    Pg. 96 – The fate of Squanto’s village — It’s also a bummer that Squanto’s journey is a disappoint/pitfall/hardship one after another without so much hope/good things happening to balance it out.
    Pg. 96 – He is TOO far gone.
    Pg. 105/106 – I wish I saw more growth in Squanto and to particularly why he wanted to help the colonists. What did he have to prove and maybe he had to work harder to convince them. Right now it feels like a given/another history beat (but I like seeing how he helps them afterwards).
    Pg. 117 – Edward reads the important part of the treaty – really think we should hear Squanto doing this. His POV, even if it means doing a transition where he starts in his native tongue but then switches to English for the audience. Just want to the most cinematically from Squanto in the film’s last moments.
    Pg. 120 – Know it’s not all roses history wise, but for this movie, last lines are kind of a bummer.

    • Urugeth

      Holy shit, this is awesome. Thank you so much for such thourough and exhaustive notes. I feel like I owe you a bottle of wine or something (I’m not even joking. i’m a sommelier in LA. if you’re ever in town look me up, hehehehehe).

      I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. I’m going to digest these notes, fix the typos and tackle a lot of this on my next draft. You’re a hero.

      • klmn

        I know ScriptChick and she only drinks Thunderbird.

        • ScriptChick

          I had to google, lol. But I have been known to distill cheap ass vodka in a Brita so…

          • klmn

  • Urugeth

    Thanks for the half vote and the read! Much appreciated.

  • Urugeth

    Thanks, Randall! I really appreciate the vote and the kind words.

  • Urugeth

    Thank you for the read, the notes and the vote Angie! I really appreciate it. Great feedback

  • Urugeth

    Thanks for the read and the feedback, Justin! Much appreciated.

  • Poe_Serling

    As the scripts come down the home stretch, it’s shaping up to be another
    close race.

    A bit OT:

    Anybody else gonna check out the new colorized Dick Van Dyke episodes airing
    tonight on TV?

    I’ll probably tune in… just for the heck of it. :-)

    • Scott Crawford

      Quarter and Semi-finals don’t tend to be one 10 goals to nothing – by the time you get this far, these are the best of the best.

      We have a slightly different situation in the U.K. Many classic to shows were wiped in order to free up BBC videotapes. However some episodes exist as audio only, so the new trick is to play the audio track with new animation:

      http://deadline.com/2016/11/doctor-who-review-power-of-the-daleks-patrick-troughton-bbc-america-video-1201855629/

      • klmn

        A lot of classic tv was erased in America too, but I don’t think there are audio tracks.

        • Scott Crawford

          If I’m right, most of these audio tracks come from people recording the show for their own private use (hence the scratchy quality, though that could be fixed). It’s RARER and probably unlikely that people videotaped these shows since early videotape was so expensive it had to be reused.

      • Poe_Serling

        From what I’ve read…

        In the ’60s it was a big decision for networks when changing a show
        from a black and white format to color.

        It boiled down $ – filming in color was just more expensive.

        I know the first couple of seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies was in
        B/W, then color for the rest of the run.

        I guess it was easy choice for that particular show – I think they
        were the No. 1 show at the time. Worth the extra dollars to
        keep its viewership happy.

        For me, certain classic shows just seem meant to be in black
        and white – The Twilight Zone, The Munsters, etc.

        • Scott Crawford

          Not a terrific quality capture anyway… this was the first movie b colored by computer. You can see… it feels a little electronic. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure it WOULD HAVE been in color had director Michael Curtiz been able to do so. So in that sense, true to the spirit.

          Don’t watch much b&w TV but I know there are old movies I like and wouldn’t want to see colorized. They sometimes show a colorized Scrooge with Alistair Sim on channel 5 in the UK. As someone once described BECKY SHARP, one of the earliest color films:

          “It looks like salmon dipped in mayonnaise.”

    • klmn

      I think that kind of easy-going comedy is past it’s expiration date. People want more edgy stuff today.

      • Scott Crawford
      • Poe_Serling

        Of course, viewing tastes change over time… probably even
        faster nowadays.

        I’m tuning in to see what color ties all the guys are wearing. Back
        in those days… just about everyone wore a suit,

        ;-)

        • klmn

          My guess it will be the “American Flag” style – blue suit, white shirt, red tie.

          • Poe_Serling

            Could be.

            From the article I read about the this particular colorization process – they were getting feedback from the original cast members based on their memories from those specific episodes.

  • Mayhem Jones

    “not sure if I’m allowed to list sites on here”

    I’d absolutely LOVE a site or two for future reference if you’d like to share!! Mayhem jones 5 at gmail dot com!

  • Scott Serradell

    Individual Review: DIVIDE AND CONNOR

    — Let me say I kind of like the new title. Yes, it is clever — but instead on being generically applied it’s tailored directly to your story. Maybe not multiplex marquee material but perhaps something you’d see in a Sundance line-up. Just my two cents.

    — I can see why people are attracted to this. The writing is clear, friendly, unencumbered — very easy to follow and read; when I looked up saw page 45 I kind of wondered how I got there. But, more importantly, the reason I kept turning the page was Connor himself. To create a likeable protagonist is difficult enough — but to like them because they are active, concerned, intelligently working to solve their problems, and aware of their surroundings is (I think) really difficult. Atop that you did it for a 14 year old young man. It’s obvious you care for Connor and, in turn, gave him enough heart for us to care as well…

    — BUT we see our protagonists favorably because we want them to succeed in the end and this can lead to watering down their antagonisms. I’m talking about Phil and Laurie here. I felt as though all the maturity in that family was given to Connor and his parents are reduced to two-dimensional caricatures. Yes, this might be how a 14 year old sees his parents but in oversimplifying them — by giving them no real say in the events driving the story — who am I, as an adult audience member, supposed to align my sympathies with? (More on that in a second…) but also Phil and Laurie’s own antagonisms are against one another, so besides creating an ugly home situation, how does their selfishness affect Connor? They are in a sense neglecting him but they aren’t dragging him into the battle field either. So what is really at stake for him?

    — My previous criticism was in asking who exactly is this for. I can follow the story of a 14 year old provided that the world outside him is fully developed (like “Tree of Life” in the parts where we see Jack as a young man). But when the 14 year old is calling the shots — when they are the sole active element pushing the story — how is this not the same as a Disney sit-com? Additionally when you have Connor and Erin talk earnestly about relationships and dating (“Well we knew it wouldn’t be easy. Dating is heard”) I’m shaking my head and saying: “Kid. You have NO idea.”

    • wad_d

      HI Scott, thanks a lot for taking a look. I’m not sure how far you got, but without spoiling it too much, as we get further along, Connor slowly loses control of he situation (only he really isn’t aware of it). You make good points about the dialogue, and I’ll try and continue to fix it. Thanks again.

    • klmn

      For someone trying to break in, Disney is a legitimate option. This could sell to Disney/ABC.

  • klmn

    Carson’s pretty cool with mentioning other sites. You want to stay away from listing other screenplay consultants – I mean, Carson pays the freight for this site.

  • ScriptChick

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR (also like previous title more) — pages notes

    Pg. 3 – Like Serial/French Toast joke.
    Pg. 4 – Like electoral college joke.
    Pg. 7 – Was a little weird that Connor would trade shirts with Yuri – maybe if it was pre-established in this scene or earlier that Yuri is supposed to make a move on the girl right after Connor and Erin did reconnaissance.
    Pg. 8 – “Did you guys steal her umbrella?” – So Yuri knows she carries an umbrella? It seemed that he didn’t know all her minutia and that’s part of the reason why he paid Connor and Erin to do their thing. Hmm. What if they stage things more overtly, like umbrella sabotage? I dunno, but it would be a clearer, more visual example for both audience and Yuri to understand what’s going on. Same with the tissue, is it one tissue or a packet of tissues? With the packet, we might understand what exactly they are prepping Yuri for – unless the handkerchief is supposed to double as a pocket square/fashion statement.
    Pg. 9 – Still think the parents’ argument here is too generic. More specificity to make it pop?
    Pg. 9 – Still think the time at home with parents arguing is too abrupt before we’re back at the school.
    Pg. 10 – Since we are just beginning in the story, I’d establish Laurie at the start of this scene before she speaks. Ground the characters more in the settings you have provided them.
    Pg. 11 – Connor’s anger is directed at a guy who is not married (yet is flirting with a married woman). While this could cause him anger, his previous irk and what the movie hinges on is his frustration with his (married) parents not being right for each other. So this unmarried flirting guy doesn’t really match with that, in my opinion. I think his anger needs to stem directly from his parents, or else you’re diluting the thought behind the concept. If Phil could come back into the picture via a phone call/coming into the pet store for some dumb reason that starts the fight, then we are seeing how again, Connor is upset from his parents’ bickering. In real time (not the early quick cuts), we’ve only seen one instance and from what I can remember he was annoyed, but here we’d be seeing a different emotion (anger).
    Pg. 11 – His PARENTS’ marriage license.
    Pg. 13 – The scene with Uncle Rick serves the plot and answers Connor’s question but in terms of character, I found Uncle Rick lacking. Scene didn’t feel long enough to establish the character or pop with anything new and exciting for a character I think we’ll be seeing again.
    Pg. 14 – Zipping up ankle weight?
    Pg. 15 – He looks back inside the theater to see that Handsome Dude came out of Hunted and Gathered movie – seems like a stretch for me. Connor wasn’t inside the theater – all the theaters I know have concessions first and the screenings rooms far back. Plus, Handsome Dude had already exited so that makes it even harder to discern. Why not have Handsome Dude enter the theater or Connor find the ticket stub?
    Pg. 16 – Indian Step-Brother – you called him Raj earlier, may want to do that here?
    Pg. 17 – Had no idea Korbell was a shared childhood experience. That probably should have been said at the outset by Laurie.
    Pg. 18 – “Which is why I think we should focus on finding someone for my dad first.” – because everyone finds Connor’s Mom attractive? Logic didn’t make that much sense to me – why wouldn’t they start with the easiest? Connor already wrote down all these things about Handsome Dude. Unless Connor wants to do the hard part/person first to get it out of the way?
    Pg. 18 – “I can’t do this without you (comma) Erin.”
    Pg. 18 – “…for my PARENTS’ problems too.”
    Pg. 18 – “…at each OTHERS’ throats.”
    Pg. 20 – I like the fight here between Phil and Laurie and how Phil didn’t want the promotion because it would be less time away from his love – but I wanted to see that love. If I’m remembering correctly, I only saw Phil as a kid playing, not as an adult, still playing his passion.
    Pg. 22 – Wish scene between Connor and Erin here had more of a moment. Felt too abrupt.
    Pg. 27 – The less attractive WOMENS’ tables are empty.
    Pg. 27 – ….ONE’S hand is on the table…in between the OTHER’S fingers…
    Pg. 28 – already said the name Carly so I would intro PRETTY GIRL as that name.
    Pg. 29 – Tuning a piano doesn’t show off Phil’s skills. Wasn’t clear to me if he was playing a piece and then stops to tune it.
    Pg. 33 – “And I think you’re really bad at telling when a girl is interested in a guy.” – hehe, aww.
    Pg. 40 – …and starts up a game of pat-a-cake with her? This seems really random. I really don’t see how pat-a-cake would solve Cheng’s nervousness in this situation.
    Pg. 42 – I didn’t believe they would move the date of the performance due to sets not being painted in time. Feels contrived.
    Pg. 49 – Connor says he wouldn’t want to impose on Greg and Tasha – this seems like an excuse but I thought Connor was still trying to set up Greg with his Mom? Or did he give up completely after first meeting Tasha? Pitch: What if Tasha was Greg’s sister.
    Pg. 49 – If they’re arguing about the shot I think it needs to be in the dialogue. Little bit of a cheat here.
    Pg. 51 – Like Connor’s idea, see another side of his Dad.
    Pg. 52 – Robin is so patient with this kid who keeps fucking up. Might be a little funny if we see her starting to crack/expose her inner feelings?
    Pg. 53 – Connor isn’t surprised? I am, because I haven’t seen this side of Phil either. I think it should be more of a gamble for Connor. His Dad strikes me as shlubby so Connor can’t be all that sure his Dad will be able to whip up previous skills at a whim. (unless maybe his dexterity was foreshadowed earlier).
    Pg. 53 – …and look into each OTHERS’ eyes.
    Pg. 53 – “It’s not Sophie’s Choice. It’s a meal.” – haha
    Pg. 54 – “With my brother? How could you do this to me?” – haha
    Pg. 59 – stencils of antelopes seems random – oh, ok, other school’s mascot – I think to sell this you need Connor planting the idea so we know specifically it came from him in order to get Phil and Robin together.
    Pg. 62 – Both of Connor’s excuses for Lou didn’t really seem to come from his previous perception of the guy (four leaf clover could work but seems a little generic and quidditch sounds too athletic).
    Pg. 65 – Connor trying to puncture Greg’s tires – haha
    Pg. 69 – “We age like in dog years” – haha
    Pg. 69 – “…but it really hasn’t GONE anywhere.”
    Pg. 73 – “apparently a lot of bikes in the area got hit.” – kinda repetitive from earlier.
    Pg. 76 – “Second place (comma) Mr. Market Whiz.”
    Pg. 80 – Lead Actress as who? In character heading
    Just noticing in general, don’t think you need as many “well”s in dialogue. Kind of clutters up the sentence.
    Pg. 84 – Would Connor have been invited to a party with alcohol?
    Pg. 84 – They hold each OTHERS’ look for a moment and smile.
    Pg. 86 – “Who are you looking at?” – Wouldn’t Renise try and see who Connor is looking at?
    Pg. 88 – “Lou’s a cheeseball.” – weird that use same unique word as Connor.
    Pg. 95 – Still find the voiceover distracting after the initial setup.
    Pg. 99 – Would establish the rabbit earlier.
    I would look for more conflict. This isn’t a rom com but Connor has done something similar, getting people together through manipulation. I really would consider having Connor be found out for trying to set up his parents. It puts him in way more conflict and puts the action back on him in the last 20-30 pages.

    • wad_d

      Thanks for giving it a quick glance :). Invaluable, as always. Your attention to each script is pretty insane. Thanks again, and I’ll try and incorporate some of these.

  • Urugeth

    Thanks for the read and the vote, Mercutio!

  • Urugeth

    Thanks for the read and the vote, Shannon!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpjCroELCew Carmelo Framboise

    THE SAVAGE

    Read to page 26. (and some parts of the Third Act)

    I hadn’t read the script before so I was at first taken by it. The writer has sure got some skills and the story of the real Squanto sure has potential to be a good film.

    The set up of the world, of the emotional stakes and of the characters is pretty good and shows that we have a sturdy structure of a script here. Being a story of America before the Americans, -in a way- is relevant and relatable for the US audience, I guess. Not so much for me, but ok, if it is a nice story, with historical facts, I am totally in. A thing that made me have thoughts about this, is the handling of the whole thematology. Political correctness and exoticism (as in orientalism – if I try to explain it, the overuse of not wanting to hurt anyone, of being overly respectful) can lead to pretentious and/or boring whitewashed dramas. I think the whole theme needs to loosen up, or it might pass as consequential and even pretentious.

    Maybe the whole First Act at before the kidnaping takes too long. I liked it very-very much but then I realised that we are not going to spend any more time over here, so although all these relationships were explored, we lose them. Ok, I get that Squanto will return but after reading into his story I know that everyone he knew will be dead – or will they? :)

    Other than that it is very well written and can keep one’s interest.

    Here are my notes:

    p1 – I know nothing about the story of Squanto but seems intriguing. Great first page. Nice mood. We have some exposition too, some “mystery” – we want to find out were the boys are going, who is this coward father.

    p2 – Oh, they are spying enemies. Cool. “They are not going to catch us” Nice, reveals character.

    p3 – Crashing the jar by accident and then being already out of sight – hidden- when the gards enter is soooo cliche? Anything more original?
    p4 – Really strong for a 13-y-o against an ELITE WARRIOR. I didn’t get why he doesn’t stand up and run at the end of the page. Did he break his leg? I didn;t get the description. Maybe it’s my English.

    p7 – Massasoit’s exposition-full lines are a bit simplistic and off, no?
    p9 – The whole setup until now is simple and straightforward. We already feel this whole story and characters. Why are all the new characters underlined?
    p11- Askehetau talks like a kid. That’s how I feel. My fear now is that this is going to be a dead serious move. The exoticism and the P.C. won’t let it roam free. We mustn’t let respect become a filter of drama, entertainment and creativity. Don’t be pretentious, consequential.
    p12 – This whole first sequence shows a lot about Squanto.
    p14 – Great, after an emotional bonding scene we rush to the arrival of the white people. there is always something moving us forward up until now, which is very good. What is up with the date? And if I may ask again… What is up with the WRONG date? From a quick research I found it was May 30th. Why change that? I mean, why not, but yeah…

    p15- Weymouth is an ass, ok we get it, but beware of exoticism in his description. Now he is just bad. Baaaaad. It is not all black and white though.
    p17- I can’t say I don’t love this, despite its problems, up until this point.
    p18- What language does Dermer speak? English naturally… But you should state that, make it obvious one more time that the natives talk Wampanoag and don’w understand anything from each other.
    p20- Squanto speaks in English. “Steel”.
    p21- It is starting to get flat. The Arrival addded some flavour but it is like a documentary now.
    p23- “That’s adorable.” Excellent response.
    p24- Good set up BUT changing of where the story goes so drastically and after all this we lived through with Squanto in the first 20 pages makes me not want to go on a journey to Europe with him. Hey, maybe that’s a good thing because he doesn;t want to leave his home either, but somehow I feel that the story took a boring turn with him getting to new places. I wanted to see him fight with Massasoit.
    p26 – “One day I will set this right. I promise you that” Oh, spare me the Hollywood bubbly cliched sooo American lines. Please! :)

    I quickly found if Massasoit plays again and indeed, Squanto finds him again at teh end. Their dialogue felt very-very simplistic though. Too much historical context and explenations that didn’t dfeel real. This put me in thoughts. Although it IS rewarding that the two of them have a final fight at the end. It all comes around.

    The logline I think is nothing in particular. Actually, again and again I see loglines that are subpar but somehow make it through. I mean, “sets in motion events that lead to an event”. Oh, did I tell ya about the event? :)

    [CONTINUED IN A WHILE]

    • wad_d

      Thanks for taking a look. In this version I tried to add a little more motivation, showing how the stress from their fighting was actually adversely affecting him, so I added a small thing about how Connor was grinding his teeth during his sleep from the stress and would maybe have to get braces again. I remember a few years ago there was that movie “The Kings of Summer”, where the kids run away and build a house in the woods to live. One of the kids’ motivation was that his parents were driving him so crazy, that he had hives all over his body, so he really needed to get away from them. I guess that was kind of what I was going for with the grinding teeth thing. Thanks again for taking a look.

  • Midnight Luck

    CHOICE: DIVIDE AND CONNOR

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR: Page 14
    THRILLS, KILLS and SCOTCH: Page 10
    THE SAVAGE: Page 10

    Congratulations to everyone who has gotten to this point.
    I read parts of each of these in other rounds as well.

    This is the point where things begin to get really difficult.
    We are choosing the best of each of the best, and I for one am having troubles because of some basic basic issues in each of the stories.

    For me, I struggled with the reading of all of these honestly.
    I know everyone only had 13 weeks to write and finish an entire screenplay, and maybe that is why I feel the way I do about each of them, but maybe not as well.

    I am choosing DIVIDE for one specific reason: It has the best idea, the best “hook” and comes across with the most Movie Concept of storylines. I can imagine the movie without much difficulty. I like that we can read the logline and can instantly start imagining scenes and how the story would play out.
    However, having said that, the storyline doesn’t play out in a way that works as well as my mind’s eye would imagine. I think it still needs work.

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR

    This, and all three stories actually, suffer from the same problems when it comes to dialogue (though THRILLS, KILLS does a better job with dialogue as it has a lot more variety and unknowns thrown in) where so much of it is just obvious and on the nose.

    While I do believe your story has the most possibility based on the logline, and for what could be made of it, I think the dialogue is holding the story back. It is simplistic to a fault. Some of which is fine, since children are more upfront and honest with what they say, and don’t have as much nuance going on with their words. But they still manipulate and double back, fake out, and don’t always say exactly what they mean.

    Lines and situations like this:

    Leanne steps outside, into the rain, and she searches her
    backpack for her umbrella. It’s gone.
    YURI
    Did you guys steal her umbrella?
    Leanne hesitates, then elects to walk in the rain.
    CONNOR
    We’re creating an opportunity.
    ERIN
    Don’t worry, we’ll return it.

    We already understood the kids took Leanne’s umbrella. Then we see an overly obvious visual as Leanne searches her backpack for the umbrella. Then, would Yuri ACTUALLY say “did you guys steal her umbrella”?
    come on. I really don’t think so.
    Plus you are beating the reader over the head with so many, repetitive and obvious things, again and again.
    Then Connor says “We’re creating an opportunity”.
    But this has already been understood by the reader. Again, telling us exactly what we know, but trying to disguise it as them telling Yuri what he needs to know but doesn’t get.
    Doesn’t feel truthful.
    And then Erin says “Don’t worry we’ll return it”. Seriously, again? This just doesn’t seem honest as dialogue goes.

    I think you can cut ALL the dialogue in this scene completely.
    JUST Focus on the central thing, which we already know—they are creating an opportunity for Yuri to impress Leanne, or to talk to her, or get to know her.

    But LESS is MORE.

    Don’t have any of the dialogue, except, after the setup have something simple:

    Leanne steps outside.
    She reaches into her backpack, searches around.
    Then, looks up into the sky as the rain spatters her face and
    Pulls up her collar as she heads off.

    CONNOR
    (re; Leanne)
    Nows your chance.

    Erin hands Yuri an umbrella.

    ERIN
    You got this.

    Everything else is implied, already known. It’ll play out anyways, we know what’s next, it doesn’t all have to be force fed to us so much.
    Things just need much more of a natural flow.
    The pages need to breathe and move in a less forced and burdened way.

    You have the concept. I like it. Now just knead the story and the characters in a more honest, easy way.

    ———

    THRILLS, KILLS and SCOTCH
    A psychopathic magazine editor copes with the hiring of an old rival by killing a fashion model in a twisted revenge plot.

    “copes with the hiring of an old rival by killing a fashion model”?
    What? This doesn’t make any sense, and seem like two totally disconnected ideas and plot lines.

    I honestly had a lot of trouble as I read to page 10 following what is going on, what we were seeing.
    You spend a ton of time with the characters bouncing talk back and forth, volleyballing one-liners and witty, clever barbs, but what is lost is painting a picture for the reader.
    A picture of the setting, of the character, of the mood and scenery, in fact almost anything in the surroundings.

    So as we read dialogue after dialogue, talking talking talking, I really have no idea what is going on, or what this is about, where we are, or if there is a story, or a theme.

    To me, dialogue is supposed to SUPPORT or BUILD ON what the characters are DOING. What is HAPPENING inside the story. Either that or go AGAINST what we see the characters doing or what is happening, to throw us off.

    Maybe this is a play? A play can get away with pure WIT and only Dialogue, because they are constrained by a singular stage where people are in one location. Yes there are certain movies that have been successful presenting themselves in a play format and relying on pure witty dialogue (almost anything Woody Allen), but for me, even those are hugely lacking for me as an audience member who wants to see a MOVIE. If I wanted to see a play, I would go to the other kind of Theatre.

    So, I think, to make the story you want to tell flow better, to give the reader a better understanding of what is happening, I would dig more into the visuals, and reign in some of the dialogue. Dialogue should PUNCH, it shouldn’t be ALL that is happening, because then, any punch you did have in the dialogue, it will be lost.

    I do have to say, the other script you posted a long time back (I can’t remember the name, something DEXTER STRANGE?) with a guy talking straight into the camera throughout the majority of it, worked better in this capacity. It made more sense that there was little else described about the environment it was happening in, or painting us a visual picture. Still didn’t work totally for me, but all the dialogue worked better and made more sense, because of the nature of the story being told.

    ——–
    THE SAVAGE
    I read the same 10 pages a while back, and it seems it is the same as it was before. Maybe there were changes, but I didn’t really register them, not that you are required to make any changes of course.
    To me, I can sense the writer feeling that they think the story is full of excitement and is interesting, sadly, I didn’t come away with this.
    Yes there are “things happening”, but I didn’t feel drawn into it at all. I didn’t feel for the characters, and I didn’t feel the danger, or any intensity.
    Also, the dialogue needs some help. It all felt rather flat and on the nose. It didn’t have any intrigue or double meaning, or hidden meaning, or manipulation, or holding back.
    Like this:

    AHANU
    I thought they were going kill you!
    You scared me half to death!

    It is just so straight forward. We already get it. We know this. And all the dialogue reads much like this. In one sense, I get you want it to have a “Native American” sounding speech (whatever that is). But it also sounds too basic. When someone thinks something in this story, they say EXACTLY that. Someone does something, and someone says exactly what they saw, or what they did, or what they think of that.

    It needs more nuance.
    ——-

    So, what I see, with all three:

    They all are TRYING REALLY HARD, and it comes across- in-the-reader’s-face.
    Too much on-the-nose dialogue.
    What is being said is too obvious.
    There isn’t enough space and openness to let the stories take their own natural, AND unnatural course.
    Let the characters out to play and do fun and unexpected things, and say unexpected things.

    Too much of the writing feels stuffy and calculated to me.

    I do wish everyone all the best, and apologize if this is harsh.

    Just my last two pennies. Hope some of it is helpful. If not, disregard.

    • Scott Crawford

      You’re pushing your luck, Midnight! 65 minutes before I stop counting. Thanks for breaking deadlock – but there’s still time for the other scripts…

      • Midnight Luck

        just made it in under the wire….thx

    • wad_d

      Well I will take what I can get, and work on refining the dialogue :) In all seriousness, thanks a lot for taking the time. Btw, did you ever get to see “The Edge of Seventeen”? I remember you taking about it. I saw it yesterday, and really loved it. Probably the best comedy I’ve seen this year.

      • Midnight Luck

        Yes I did see EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. same day I was talking about it. Sadly, it was not as good as I was hoping. It wasn’t as advertised by the trailer. I thought it was going to be a comedy, instead it was much closer to your typical Indie movie with a capital “I”, that slid into a heavy drama.

        Now don’t get me wrong I am the biggest fan and lover of indie movies there is (and I love Drama as well). But there’s a certain (large) segment of the indie movies that get lost in their need to be “serious” or “about something” and it takes away from their uniqueness and their fun.

        This one skirted that line very closely. It saved itself, and I am sorry to say, the only reason it did was because of Hailee Steinfeld, (Happy BIrthday Hailee!!), who killed it in her role.

        But once again, the fact that the funnest parts, the funniest parts, of the whole movie were in the trailer, really made me sad.
        I thought I was going to be going to one of the best comedies I’ve seen in years, and instead, it was this heavier drama with a couple bits of humor, all of which I had already seen in the trailer.

        So, it got a mixed bag for me. Too bad, I was so excited to see it.
        movies have really let me down this year, across the board.

        Allied? (ugh. double ugh)
        Arrival? (decent, but not great. honestly rather lacking in certain areas)
        Secret Life of Pets? nope
        Jason Bourne? please. nope.
        Bad Moms? what did I expect? No. One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.
        The Accountant? Ho hum. Kind of a mess.
        Girl On The Train? Not much.
        The Shallows? Ugh
        The Purge: Election Year? Actually, not bad, WAY better than I imagined.
        The Nice Guys? Was SOOO excited, what a Let Down.

        I could go on, I’ve seen so many movies this year at the theater, but really, pretty sad. Don’t know if I’ve found my movie this year. That one movie, every year, that is hands and feet above the rest. The one that makes the whole year ok.

        • wad_d

          Did you see “Eye in the Sky” yet? Overall that’s probably my favorite movie this year. Also, “Mustang” from Turkey came out technically last year but I saw it this year, and it was a foreign language Oscar nominee, and that is one of the best things I’ve seen this year. It’s got a “Virgin Suicides” feel to it. 98% on RT and I think it’s streaming on Netflix.

          • Scott Crawford

            I think Eye in the Sky for me got mixed up with Good Kill and I suspect it was that way for a lot of people. Two different movies, obviously, two different approaches. But one of the problems with making movies is that it takes time, and by the time you’re movie is released:

            1. Another movie has already come out with similar material.

            2. If we’re honest, drones just aren’t in the news so much anymore. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we’re still using them, but the “hay day” (sorry for trivializing it) of drone strikes was a few years back.

            It’s ONE reason why people often look at the PAST rather than at current affairs. You have a reasonable chance of being the only movie with that subject and you’re not going to seem dated because you already are.

          • wad_d

            Oddly enough, I ended up watching those movies in the same week. “Good Kill” I saw on dvd. I though EITS was much better. To be fair, drone warfare has come a fair amount of ways since “Good Kill” was released.

          • Midnight Luck

            I have not yet. It came and went here so quickly I didn’t get a chance.
            Hmmm. Haven’t heard of MUSTANG I don’t believe.
            I’ll have to look it up.
            I loved VIRGIN SUICIDES, such a great flick.
            I’ll check them out, thanks.

    • klmn

      “…”copes with the hiring of an old rival by killing a fashion model”?
      What? This doesn’t make any sense, and seem like two totally disconnected ideas and plot lines.”

      It makes sense if you read the whole script.

      IMO it could be better phrased as A psychopathic magazine editor copes with the hiring of an old rival by framing him for the murder of a fashion model.

      • Midnight Luck

        yes, that makes much more sense, because it ties the two elements together.

      • Mayhem Jones

        WOW, I love that!

        • klmn

          I’ve done a little more thinking about your script, and I think it would work better if Aiden didn’t act like a dick toward Emma. If he acted like he was falling in love with her, when he murdered her it would be more of a shock.

          In fact, I think he should act like a dick only toward Charles.

  • BMCHB

    Best of luck to all three writers, the winner will deserve to be in semi.

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading all three scripts and, to be honest, while all three are really well written, no one script screams vote for me… Consider them all as having equal merits.

    This is most likely as none are in a genre I gravitate towards.

    So, I’m not going to vote as any vote would be arbitrary and disrespectful to the other voters and unfair to the writers, especially with the top two so close.

    May the best script win.

    • Scott Crawford

      Ordinarily, I’d be barking obscenities at you… but under the circumstance, I understand that decision, and suspect many others who haven’t voted (and may not vote in the next few rounds) feel similar.

      I expected the vote count to get lower each week. I am expecting a good response for the grand final, though… if that decision is still up to us.

      • Levres de Sang

        For some reason my review comment (posted about 10 mins ago) is “Pending” — but should be visible via my Disqus account. Anyway, just to let you know I voted for DIVIDE AND CONNOR.

        • wad_d

          Yeah, I definitely read it. And then I had a brief heart attack when it went away (“I guess he changed his mind”). But thanks for the very kind words and taking the time (and of course the vote)!

        • Scott Crawford

          Got it dude, almost missed it, but I got it!

    • wad_d

      Thanks for taking the time. It’s actually a very thoughtful response.

  • Citizen M

    My vote: THE SAVAGE.

    Read the first 30 and last 10 pages of all three. Due to time pressure cannot do detailed notes.

    THE SAVAGE was the most substantial of the three.

    Pro: It’s a big story and handles some important themes such as war versus peace, dogmatism versus compromise, etc. No scene went on too long; there was a new development every few pages, which kept one’s interest up. The Indians’ wonder at Western technology was well conveyed.

    Con: The dialogue was a bit stilted and declamatory. I’m not sure the Governor would have spoken to Weymouth so haughtily. I think a ship’s captain had quite a high status and was treated with respect.

    THRILLS, KILLS, AND SCOTCH had me confused from page 1.

    Pro: Paints a picture of a wealthy world I am unfamiliar with.

    Con: The first 30 pages were all setup. No murder as promised in the logline. The writing was too clipped and impressionistic. I could not picture the scenes I was reading. I had to wonder why I was even reading it. There seemed to be no plot development, and it turned out to be all a dream or hallucination or science fiction thingy or something, but not a thriller.

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR was very sweet but a bit lightweight.

    Pro: It’s well written and strikes a good tonal balance; not too gritty or too saccharine. The main characters are engaging.

    Con: I felt more needed to be happening, either in terms of plot developments or adding B and C stories. The bake sale needed more of a setup as a meat market. I wasn’t buying it. Could do with more jokes or a wacky character or two. I wasn’t entirely convinced that the ending resolved Connor’s concerns about his origin.

    Title: If you want to go full punny, how about DIVIDIN’ CONNOR. But I prefer the original.

    • Scott Crawford

      Cool, make a note of it in a minute.

      • GoIrish

        My vote is for The Savage as well (sorry – for some reason, I couldn’t respond to your scorekeeping post). The writing needs some work, so voting primarily based on strength of concept. More detailed notes are posted somewhere in here.

        • Scott Crawford

          Having a few internet probs myself, but I’ll try to make note of both. Sorry, wanted to post about Black list as well first.

  • Scott Crawford

    BREAKING: Black List being announced tomorrow morning. Well, LA morning.

    Probably didn’t want to do it on the 14th, the day before Rogue One as they had first planned. Because no one would’ve given one. And these brainiacs decide what the best scripts are?

    Anyway, be patient, very patient this year and maybe we can get some of the scripts. But don’t bombard me (or anyone else) with requests, were only human.

    PS. On a lighter note, anyone want to speculate what might make the list?

  • Flowerr

    Amazing way to spend a gloomy Sunday!
    I would say that I spent about equal amounts of time reading Thrills, Kills and Scotch and Divide and Connor. Throughly enjoyed both.

    I want to cast my vote for The Savage. I read this in its entirety. The script itself is engaging and masterfully written, but it also goes far beyond the realms of entertainment solely for entertainment’s sake. Landslide win for me as well. The way Chris is able to make you so strongly empathize with Squanto, whom would typically be seen as “the other”, is a relevant lesson to be learned given our current cultural climate.

    As a writer, he was able to take all of the preconceived notions we have of ourselves and flip them on their heads. He was able to take a culture that is entirely different from our own and make it not only accessible to understand, but also make the culture that we would normally identify with (European) feel vile and foreign.

    I can absolutely enjoy entertainment that is purely hedonistic, but this script to me was art.

  • MKD 44

    My vote is for Divide and Connor.
    Thrills, Kills and Scotch read like poetry it was so well written. The characters were so annoying, but so good. After a while I forgot that this was a story, they felt like real people. Pace was really fast, but in the end it just was not my cup of tea.

    The Savage read like a Faulkner novel. Epic, grand and so visual. Well paced and exciting. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, but I just happened to like

    Divide and Connor it was a fun read that moved well, had good characters and I liked it’s originality.

    I felt the Savage was like eating a fancy French meal, TKS was like going to a crazy nouveau restaurant and divide and Connor was like eating a big stack of buttery pancakes. Congrats to all

    • wad_d

      Thank you. Nit gonna lie, pretty drunk right now. But thanks a ton for this vote. You are mothereffin clutch.

    • wad_d

      I remember you from last time (the late vote, i believe). Can you email me?

  • klmn
    • ScriptChick

      he got a stiffy?

      • Scott Crawford

        A chilly willy.

        • GoIrish

          Snowballs.

  • ScriptChick

    THRILLS, CHILLS & SCOTCH — page notes

    Pg. 1 – Can’t really pinpoint it (maybe stupid boy repeated/words themselves?) but Samantha’s dialogue stilted to me and doesn’t help much in clueing me into what has happened (intentional)? Guess more confusion vs. mystery off the bat.
    Pg. 1 – Choking from the snow storm or something else? — oh, it’s a dream. Hmm, maybe this also explains Samantha’s dialogue? It still is really disorienting. Wonder if you should push the action/dialogue to more out there/over the top to clue us in early. I just didn’t like the confusion right off the bat.
    Pg. 3 – Aiden’s hole / opinion line – haha ouch.
    Pg. 7 – If Victor really wanted an editor position, I don’t think he’d tell Aiden he’s bored of everything unless prompted somehow by Aiden. This seems kind of a rude thing to say to his boss that he wants something from.
    Pg. 9 – Blood SPLATS? Nearby? What is the visual? We hear/see it? Charles is going mad before anything has happened in the present day?
    Pg. 11 – Kind of wanted to know how this scene ends. Charles leaves Aiden’s office? I think having that end also establishes dominance and another moment between Charles and Aiden. Here it ends kind of abruptly.
    Pg. 13 – “GIRLS’ numbers.”
    Pg. 19 – “Mark my words. I’ll make you see the importance of a photograph, Charlie.” – I like that this is a statement we’ll see if Aiden will follow through with. But I think for Aiden despising Charlie so much he would have tried more to get him fired.
    Pg. 21 – By Aiden’s logic, hasn’t he already sussed out Charles’ agenda – Charles doesn’t want Aiden to be happy?
    Pg. 22 – Is this news for Aiden to learn Samantha’s dead? I understand his anger at Charles, but maybe to make him a more sympathetic character we should see how this new info affects him (after he’s left Charles’ office?).
    Pg. 23 – I’ve never met Paxton so I’m not sure what he has against Emma (as a model/being “fat”). Is this something Cecilia would say since we know she wants sole claim to Aiden?
    Pg. 24 – Aiden references Lydia there before we see her?
    Pg. 25 – Pitch to you – maybe this conflicts with what you want to do with Charles’ psyche later but what if you grounded Charles problems and had the book editor at the party? That way we are seeing Charles’ guilt and conflict in the moment vs. a voiceover.
    Pg. 26 – “then photograph her being strangled by a utility cord.” — like the line. What if it related more to her age/relevance problem? A life alert landyard/kitchen twine since she’s become a useless housewife? Fishing line since her young pussy now smells like old fish left out to rot (sorry, that took a turn). Maybe I’m going down this path because I think that Aiden knows she’s right (just in his opinion give it a few more years?). He seems so surface level too, so if this isn’t true, then I need more to support a different opinion. I think I’m wishing it was more than a funny line and an actual assessment of Emma/showing us he’s aware of people other than himself and his witticisms.
    Pg. 27 – Who hangs the coat that keeps falling?
    Pg. 30 – Cecilia doesn’t react to Aiden popping thumbtacks or him spitting them bloody out into his hand? The world is alienating to an outsider like me, but this thumbtack business doesn’t seem to have to do with the world, more in particular Aiden’s character so even for knowing him, for Cecilia to not react to this…surely Aiden wasn’t doing this before Charles’ arrival? The only bit I get is “you’re distressed.” You want this callousness for all the characters?
    Pg. 35 – Each PATRON plays with a RUBIK’S CUBE at their tables. — ? Is this real life or in Aiden’s head?
    Pg. 36 – “I suppose I could make us breakfast. Or something.” – Can’t tell if he’s serious or not since he always eats out/is so rich.
    Pg. 37 – “My feelings were neither that of contentment nor disgust. Merely, totality at having felt at all.” – like the line
    Pg. 38 – I wish I understood this power turn in Charles more. Why he’s suddenly so brazen to go toe to toe with Aiden. Last scene I remember was him getting an assistant – that’s what did it?
    Pg. 41 – I’m just as confused as Charles as to how he got to MOMA with Aiden and why suddenly Aiden seems to be back on his side?
    Pg. 43 – While I like Eddie’s character and ideas, not sure what point of this scene is in terms of conflict and moving the story forward.
    Pg. 45 – Would have liked to have seen the Madonna shoot leak than hear about it first. Pissed that you can just google the images?
    Pg. 49 – Would establish the Doorman early in the apartment with Charles.
    Pg. 50 – Confused – did Charles open the door?
    Pg. 55 – Didn’t Aiden rip the Dickens’ book before he swore to ruin Charles? So he’s been planning this mind fuck all along? There seems to be a mix here of Aiden staging things and Charles having psychological problems. I’m not sure which one you’re leaning more towards but if it was the latter, then I think this is more Charles’ story and him facing his demons/issues. But right now it’s Aiden’s, someone who is very vengeful yet still not all that sympathetic. And the fact that we’re unclear whether or not he’s the puppet master of it all also makes me question if his character is strong enough to drive the whole feature (just thinking again to American Psycho and Nightcrawler, we knew what these unsympathetic yet fascinating characters were up to and that made it enjoyable to watch even if we couldn’t get catharsis out of it imo).
    Pg. 61 – Action line of Emma drinking? Also reaction from pill happened really fast.
    Pg. 63 – Where was Emma in the scene before she was stabbed? Need more direction here. And if the knife is slick with blood, did she just die? Blood not coagulated yet? Or did you mean by coordinated that Aiden planned to move to Charles would stab and in effect kill Emma for him (if he couldn’t’ do it)?
    Pg. 64 – Or is this another mind fuck set up by Aiden? But then again, how much can Aiden control that Charles hallucinates? I’m confused. If Aiden has vanished, then has Emma’s body vanished too?
    Pg. 69 – “My wife was inside the room.” – Would Charles say this to the Dr. if he (or both of them) knows Samantha to be dead?
    Pg. 70 – So Cecilia never existed?
    Pg. 74 – …creepy, high-pitched laugher (needs period)
    Pg. 74 – These moments of Charles hashing it out with Aiden make him feel like the protagonist vs. Aiden, the antagonist.
    Pg. 75 – Aiden is a mess because Kiev died and he feels responsible? I wish that Aiden had more of a hand in it, more conflict there especially since it affects him so much. Charles seemed to have made the big choices that doomed Kiev so to see more of Aiden capitulating to that or assuring/lying to Kiev then I think that would give it more impact for later?
    Pg. 76/77 – Why did Charles all of a sudden have this change in character/regression back to his hinged self? Other than to deliver all this level-headed info about Aiden when they were young…which he couldn’t have done when he was in court? Or later with the Dr.? Logistically how have these facts been kept from us and important parties for so long?
    Pg. 80 – “That’s what he wanted to prove! That a photo could overwrite words!” – like that coming full circle and it being said aloud.
    Pg. 88 – Finally got reveal that Rubik’s cubes are smartphones – but the image of Rubik’s cubes was so jarring it pulled me out when it was first shown so I don’t really know what to say other than instead of a cool reveal, the moment here is more of an explanation for the crazy. Which I guess is your unreliable protagonist’s POV….
    Pg. 94 – Like that we get to see Charles get his groove back – didn’t like that it’s a random News Announcer giving title of Thrills, Kills and Scotch. What if we saw the title on the book after Charles’ speech?

    • Mayhem Jones

      WOW! Very cool and thorough as always, incredible you have the time to do this (with everyone!) while balancing your own rewrites. Thanks so much Katherine, good luck in the semis!! =D

  • garrett_h

    I believe voting is closed now. I’m super late to the party. Was actually at the movies. I’ll post my vote anyway in case it helps the writers.

    MY VOTE: DIVIDE AND CONNOR

    Out of all the entries this week, it’s the only one that is a movie. It’s ready to shoot right now. Minimal changes. Get a cast and go.

    THE SAVAGE was well-written. But maybe it suffers from biopic-itis. Just checking boxes from someone’s life. X Event and Y Event and Z Event. I liked it. But if I was being honest, I didn’t like it more than JOHN BROWN’S BODY, a recent AOW historical biopic, which Carson gave a “wasn’t for me.” I’ve read quite a bit of it and I don’t see a solid narrative emerging. So I don’t think THE SAVAGE would make the grade.

    THRILLS, KILLS AND SCOTCH was all over the place. I’m familiar with Mayhem, having read his scripts here before. And Mayhem, your previous offerings were much better. Honestly, I have no clue what’s going on here. A guy rips his arm open with a broken bottle in the snow in the middle of December and somehow survives. People are talking about random shit. It’s just all over the place. And there’s no story. Dialogue is pretty bad. And usually you have great dialogue. I have more extensive notes for this if wanted, but I gotta be honest, this was easily the worst of the three. Sorry bud.

    DIVIDE AND CONNOR was pretty good. I liked it back when it was initially presented, but there was no title and an anonymous writer and so there was no way I was going to pick it. But there have been some positive changes (like a writer’s name and a title!) and I can see the author is trying to move the story forward quicker than before. I really like the changes so far. And as I said, it’s the only one of these that FEELS like a movie. It IS a movie. Still needs some work, but it’s closer to the finish line than the other two. So it gets my vote.

    Good luck everyone!

    • wad_d

      Yo. Where the eff were u 53 mins ago?! Jk
      Breaking balls. I remember you. You said out of principle you wouldnt vote for me. Ha! Thanks a lot for your vote. Going anonymous obviously was dumb. As was the lack of a title.

      Edit: im hammered. Typos gonna happen on this lil phone.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Someone should wake Scott.

    • Scott Crawford

      Was this vote before or after the deadline? There’s only one vote in it, and if it does count then it would be a draw. If it doesn’t count, Savage wins.

      • BMCHB

        After, so interesting to see what Carson decides.

        • Scott Crawford

          Yeah, I don’t know if Disqus is a reliable way of telling time. If it WAS afterwards, then Savage won, even by one vote. If it does count, we have a draw – which might be worse.

          I’m guessing Carson is holding off posting ’til the Black List is announced, starting 0900 PST (1700 GMT, just before Pointless).

          https://twitter.com/theblcklst

          • BMCHB

            I’m sure someone in PST will know for sure.

            Cheers for the Black List link.

  • Scott Crawford

    The Black List most-liked unproduced scripts of 2016 starts at 0900 PST. You can follow the announcements here:

    https://twitter.com/theblcklst

    Or just wait an hour-and-a-bit ’til they’ve all been announced.

  • Dallas Cobb

    What a tremendous last week of QFs! Whether you made it to semis or not, you should be very stinkin’ proud of yourselves!

    OT: if anyone has a copy of the scripts ARRIVAL or MANCHESTER BY THE SEA — I’d love to read them once my finals HELL ends a week from today!

    dcobb5201@gmail.com

  • Erica

    I know I’m late to the party by vote wouldn’t have changed the results anyways,

    Vote: I was going to Thrills, Kills and Scotch (great title!) but I’m have to lean towards Divide and Connor (great play on words for the title now). So vote is Divide and Connor.

    It was a tough week for sure and I’m sure the rest of the weeks are going to become even more difficult.

    I think the scripts are all very well written but I just not into Historical Biographies or even Biographies for that matter but it was still hard to pick a winner this week for me as I was thinking of picking that one first.

    I love the dialogue on Divide and Connor, it just had a sharp witty flow to it.